UN calls for demilitarization of South Sudan capital as a ‘priority’

NEW YORK (HAN) April 16. 2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News..United Nations has called on the government of South Sudan and the armed opposition faction of SPLM-IO to ensure that Juba, as the capital, has been demilitarized in accordance with the security arrangements in the peace agreement signed in August last year.

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South Sudanese soldiers sit on a truck at the airport in Juba on 12 June 2014 (Photo: AFP/Samir Bol)

In remarks issued on Friday by the world body, it said implementing the security arrangements in Juba should be given a “priority.”

“Another issue that needs to be addressed as a matter of priority is the full implementation of the security arrangements, including the formation of the Joint Operations Centre, the Joint Integrated Police (JIP) and withdrawal of all additional armed forces from Juba whose presence is contrary to the provisions of the peace agreement,” remarked Farhan Haq, the UN deputy spokesman for the Secretary General at a Friday’s press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Demilitarization of the capital, Juba, which is a priority requirement, has not yet been verified and a joint operations center for the rival forces has not been established for the capital. Also a joint police to patrol the city has not been integrated.

The world body also commended the expected return to Juba of the first vice president designate, Riek Machar, and his immediate swearing in on his arrival, as a positive step in the formation of a transitional government of national unity.

“The return and swearing in of the First Vice President designate, Riek Machar, upon his return to Juba will be significant progress in the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS),” the official said.

The UN also said in line with the agreement, the next important step will be the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity followed by the establishment of other institutions of transition through which the peace agreement has to be implemented.

Machar, who leads the armed opposition faction of SPLM-IO, is expected to return to Juba on Monday, 18 April, despite the lack of implementation of the other components of the security arrangements for the capital.





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