Government and opposition forces near Wau move to training centres to begin formation of unified army

Hey ho, off to joint training we go! Soldiers from government and opposition forces near Wau moving to training centres to initiate the formation of a unified army.

3 Jan 2020

Government and opposition forces near Wau move to training centres to begin formation of unified army

Dawit Kahsay Tedla

“Today, all the forces and I are happy, because this ends the war and suffering of our people. Now there is peace because we [military troops from different armies] are moving to training centres in Wau,” says John Arkangelo, a Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition soldier from Ngo Halima cantonment site ahead of the efforts to establish a unified national army.

Major General Abraham Gum, South Sudan People’s Defense Force Commander in Grinity, says that the beginning of joint training represents “excellent progress” towards the full implementation of the revitalized peace agreement signed in September 2018, and adds that the process of moving troops to the training centres will continue.

Out of the 1,046 officers mobilized from both government and opposition 460 are from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition and 586 from the South Sudan People’s Defense Force. The forces were transported from the Ngo Halima and Grinity cantonment sites respectively. The military component will be trained in Maple while police, prison and fire brigade personnel will be based at the Masanu Beera training centre on the outskirts of Wau town.

According to Mr.James Muhwezi, Sector Coordinator of the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism in Wau, the transportation of troops has been successful, with the soldiers “committed” to playing their part in achieving durable peace.

The warring parties have twice failed to form the transitional government of national unity, first in May and then in November, when they agreed to a 100-day-long extension to resolve still-disputed issues and form a power-sharing government by 22 February 2020.