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South Sudan: Kiir, Machar Discuss Unified Command Structure

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar on Monday discussed the composition of the command structure, renewing hopes of their commitment towards implementation of the security arrangements in the September 2018 revitalized peace deal.

The two rival leaders Kiir smiled and greeted each in a sign of trust likely to pave way for resumption of peaceful working relations between them and their supporters in the chain and extension of relations.

The meeting was one of the prerequisites of the agreement which the main principals signed on April 3, 2022 regarding the unified command structure of all security organs in the country.

The South Sudanese leader reportedly asked Machar to present lists of officers to be integrated into the unified command. The First Vice President accepted, but requested for some days to present a list of nominees for the formation of the unified command structure of all security organs in the country.

According to the Presidential Affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin Kiir stressed during the meeting that the people of South Sudan were tired of war and needed peace, stability and development.

The First Vice President also echoed the statement of the president and re-assured his commitment to the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement and not to return the country back to war.

On Sunday, the main signatories to the peace deal signed an agreement on the unified command structure on all security forces in the country, marking a key step in the implementation of the security arrangements in the accord.

The First Vice President’s spokesperson, James Gadet Dak said it was time the leaders were nominating senior officers for various positions.

“Now that an agreement is finally reached by the principals of R-ARCSS on allocations of senior positions in the unified command in all the organized forces including the army, the police, the national security, the wildlife force, the prisons force, the civil defense, the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of SPLM/SPLA (IO) and First Vice President of the Republic, H.E Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, shall soon, within days, nominate his senior officers to the various unified command structures,” Dak said Tuesday.

He added, “The agreement has given seven days to submit names beginning from Sunday, April 3, 2022”.

The latest agreement gives Kiir the upper hand in making a 60% share in the command structure and 40% to members of the opposition with fighters to integrate into the military, police, and security structures. All the deputies in the key strategic position, including deputy chief of defense forces in the military, deputy chief spy in the security, deputy inspector general of police for traffic, logistics, and down to other structures in security, police and civil defense will be occupied by SPLM/A nominees.

South Sudan Armed Opposition Alliance (SSOA) will also be represented in the unified command structure.

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