Sudan’s vice president visited South Sudan’s capital on Wednesday to reiterate Khartoum’s support for its neighbor and to urge the government and armed groups to fully implement the 2018 peace agreement.
After meeting with President Salva Kiir, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, vice president of Sudan’s transitional government, said Sudan will continue to offer its support to the peace partners in South Sudan so they can carry out security arrangements and other parts of the deal that have yet to be implemented.
Dagalo commended South Sudan’s leaders for progress made in reconstituting the National Legislative Assembly, the council of states and establishing state governments. He said they need to move more quickly on implementing agreed-to security arrangements, especially the training of government and former rebel forces into a unified army.
“We have been assured that the joint forces are going to be graduated [from training], and this is positive news. And we hope that their graduation should not delay any more because we want to see the second batch go for training as well,” said Dagalo. He said Sudan would be monitoring “this development more closely through the different joint committees,” as a guarantor of the peace deal.
Chapter two of the revitalized peace agreement requires the parties to form a unified army. The first group of forces registered at training centers across the country have remained at the camps for nearly two years.
Dagalo said implementing the peace deal is the only means to guarantee stability in the country.
He added that “a stable South Sudan will mean a stable Sudan.”
Sudan and Uganda are guarantors of South Sudan’s peace deal signed by the parties in September 2018 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The agreement calls for a 36- month transitional period to be followed directly by a national election but several of the document’s key provisions have yet to be carried out.
South Sudanese officials have repeatedly stated that the government lacks the funds needed to implement the deal.
Kiir has complained that sanctions and the arms embargo imposed on the country by the United Nations Security Council have slowed implementation of the peace agreement. Kiir has also insisted that the country is unable to train thousands of joint forces to form a unified army due to a lack of weapons, an assertion that western diplomats and United Nations officials have questioned.
Tut Galuak, Kiir’s security advisor who also heads the country’s peace implementation committee, announced Wednesday that the joint forces will graduate shortly after the Muslim holiday of Eid Al Adha.
Despite the challenges that lie ahead such as chronic underfunding for training centers, Galuak told reporters the parties are fully committed to implementing the peace deal.
“We are certain in our stance that the peace implementation is going on well. All parties are optimistic about lasting peace in the country,” said Galuak.