Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

South Sudan is set for the graduation of its first batch of unified forces in the country – the national army and the police services.

The graduation scheduled for Tuesday morning in the capital, Juba, is expected to be witnessed by five leaders from the region – who are guarantors of the peace agreement.

A public holiday has been declared to enable the citizens to witness the ceremony.

The unity government in South Sudan was formed in February 2020, but it is yet to create a unified national army.

Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Minister Angelina Teny told reporters on Monday that at least 10,000 soldiers will be graduating during the official ceremony.

She said the next batch of the unified forces is expected to graduate in the next six months.

A unified force was a key pillar of the revitalised peace deal signed in September 2018 to end five years of the conflict.

Up to 83,000 troops were originally to join the national army, but a new deal reached in April this year agreed on 53,000 soldiers.

Since independence, South Sudan has been scarred by a devastating civil war which saw many thousands of people killed, as warring factions split along ethnic lines.

By Joy

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