South Sudan’s defense minister, Angelina Teny, has called on about 1, 701 unified forces who graduated in the Jonglei State capital, Bor, to be patriotic to the country.
Minister Angelina while speaking at the graduation ceremony urged the unified forces to be loyal to the country. He emphasized that the graduation will convince holdout groups that the 2018 peace deal is on a right track.
Maj. Gen. Charles Machieng Kuol, the Joint Defence Board’s head of secretariat and South Sudan Opposition Alliance’s representative, advised the unified forces to shun tribalism and work to defend the country’s constitution.
For her part, Geetha Pious, the UNMISS head for the Bor field office, lauded the graduation and called for the deployment of the unified forces to deter inter-communal violence in Jonglei state and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA).
According to the 2018 revitalized peace deal, South Sudan is supposed to train and graduate a unified force of 83,000 personnel to take charge of security during the transitional period until 2023, when elections are held.
So far, over 25,000 unified forces mainly from the Equatoria region graduated and are waiting for deployment.