Ceasefire monitors concerned over Renk empty barrack

By Opio Jackson

Ceasefire monitors have raised concerns over a barrack in Renk that has remained unocupied by the government forces.

Maj. General Desta Abiche Ageno, the Chairman of Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrnagement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), said of the 35 cantonment sites indenfied by the Joint Defense Board (JDB), one site is not yet occupied.

“Ten cantonmnet barracks have been occupied by SSPDF, and 24 by opposition forces. With the exception of Division 1 in Renk,” he said yesterday while opening the ceasefire monitor’s technical committee meeting in Juba.

Maj. General Abiche said CTSAMVM has not received notification or seen evidence of SSPDF plan to move forces to barracks.

“Cantoment is an impoprtant step in enbaling the security arrnagemnt to be in place before the Transtional Period commemnces. CTSAMVM has seen no evidence of VIP Protection Forces or the formation or training of the Necessary Unified Forces. CTSAMVM urges the VIP Protection Forces to be formed as a matter of urgency and the formation and training of the Necessary Unified  Forcese to begin as soon as possible,” he said.

The chairman said while the ceasefire continues to hold, there have been a number of incdiences invovling non-signatories to the Agreement incdluing abductions of civilians on the road between Kerika and Mambe.

He said another area of concern was the ongoing tesnions in Maiwut.

However, CTSAMVM also noted servere logsical constraints inclduing food, shelters, water and medincines affecting the implementation of cantonmnet.

The monitoring body called on the JDB, JMCC, JTSC to start prioitizing resources to address these challenges if the cantoment process is to be completed to enbale the next phase of the peace process to begin.

On the occupation of civilian buidlings, General Abiche said four more builidngs were still being occupied by the forces.

“The Lora Primary School, Ronyi Primary School, Jambu Primary School and Wuktebi Primary School-all near Yei are now occupied by government force and only two builidng have been vacated by the SSPDF in Nimule and Moli, Tokuor of Torit state,” he stated.

“This brings the total number of occupied civilians’ buidlings to 39.  35 of these buidlings are mainly schools and health centres are occupied by government forces and 4 by the SPLM/A-IO.”

General Abiche stressed that the failure to vacate those builidngs demoanstrates lack of commitment to the peace proces.

He said CTASMVM advised the parties to consider the occuption of each budiling as a violation, represenationg a total of 39 violations.


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