Implementation of South Sudan’s peace process takes key step forward as trainers of unified army graduate
A training of trainers of a South Sudan’s soon-to-be unified army concluded today, 4 October, with a graduation ceremony at the Military Training Centre in Luri near Juba.
The event marks a significant step forward for the implementation of the country’s revitalized peace agreement, signed in September last year.
Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, described the project of training the nation’s unified forces as one with “tremendous implications for national integrity and security”. He called the graduating instructors “pioneers” with a “huge responsibility” to carry after having received just ten days of training.
“Whatever you do, however you act, is going to affect the soldiers who you train, so I implore you to be conscious of your actions, because you set the trend of the forces of South Sudan,” the Force Commander said.
Lieutenant General Tinaikar also stressed the importance of looking forward rather than backward.
“You have to forget your past, from where you come and your past affiliations, to work together for your young nation, for the state of South Sudan,” he said, reiterating his faith in the diligence and capacity of the instructors to train the unified forces properly.
A lack of qualified trainers has been slowing down the capacity building of units of the united armed forces in 35 cantonment sites across the country, making the readiness of instructors such a vital sign of progress.
To enable the establishment of a Transitional Government of National Unity on 12 November, the few hundred graduates will need to capacitate some 83,000 soldiers, the troops being merged from the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition.