Graduation of unified forces remains uncertain

By Gilo Jr. Okwata

The graduation of unified forces is still pending due to the approval of joint command structure. Deputy military spokesperson for SPLM/IO Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel said yesterday.

Speaking to Juba Monitor Col. Lam said the Joint Defense Board is still waiting for the names which had been forwarded by the committee to the President.

“In regards to the graduation of forces, it is still pending the approval of the command structure. You know of recent, the Joint Defense Board (JDB) put a committee in place to work on the structure of the unified command of the army, the National Security, the Police and other organized forces so that when these forces are graduated they will be handed over to a unified Command,” Lam said.

Col. Lam admitted that the command of the army as currently instituted is not unified as dictated by the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

“At the moment the command of the army is not unified, the police are not also unified and even the National Security is not unified yet. So you cannot graduate these forces and hand them over to a force that is not unified. Therefore, we are waiting for the approval of this structure which is already in the hand of the President,” he stressed.

According to Lam, graduation would commence immediately after the President had signed and approved the military command structure.

“After signing, the Joint Defense Board and the other concerned security bodies will sit down and get names of the commanders both from the oppositions and government to make sure they are unified and put into structures required,” he added.

However, it was earlier reported that the graduation of unified forces was delayed due to financial constraints.

The 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement provides for the unification of the rival forces to form the first professional national army consisting of 83,000 soldiers drawn from different parties to the agreement in the country.

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