August 10, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has called for the immediate unification of the command of the forces and directed the country’s First Vice President, Riek Machar and Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi Akol to present their list of nominees for the unified command.
- South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar (L) speaks to reporters after meeting President Salva Kiir in Juba, September 11, 2019 (JUBA)
The unified command, Kiir said, include South Sudan People’s Defence Forces, South Sudan National Police Services, National Security Services, National Prisons Service, Wildlife Forces as well as the Civil Defence Forces.
On Tuesday, a meeting of the presidency was convened to discuss the recent Kitgwang Declaration by the breakaway members of the country’s armed opposition movement (SPLM/A-IO) led by General Simon Gatwech Dual and General Johnson Olony and the subsequent violent clashes in the Magenis area of Upper Nile State.
The meeting, attended by Machar, Vice Presidents James Wani Igga, Abdelbagi Taban Deng Gai and Rebecca Nyandeng De’Mabior was conducted in a collegial manner as prescribed by the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
Also in attendance were the Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak Manime and the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Barnaba Marial Benjamin.
“The Presidency strongly directs for the immediate cessation of hostilities between the SPLM/A-IO forces under the command of Dr Riek Machar Teny, and the breakaway SPLM/A- IO forces under the command of General Simon Gatwech Dual,” partly reads a statement issued by the presidency.
There were calls for parties to the peace deal to adhere to the spirit of peace, reconciliation and healing.
The presidency further directed the Security Supervision Mechanism (SSM) and the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement, Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) to visit the areas of conflict to maintain calm and prevent further violence.
“The Presidency directs the SPLM/A-IO forces under the command of Dr Riek Machar Teny and the breakaway forces under General Simon Gatwech Dual to observe a reasonable distance in order to safeguard against any further violence,” it observed.
Meanwhile the South Sudanese leader directed the parties to the September 2018 peace deal to endeavour to resolve conflicts amicably to ensure the safety and security of the country’s citizens.