JMCC Generals visit Malubor cantonment site
A field inspection team has on Tuesday visited a pilot site established for the cantonment of troops in South Sudan.
The Team was drawn from members of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) and the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM).
The team was led by Maj. Gen. Gabriel Gatwech (SPLA/IO-TD) and Maj. Gen. Majier Deng Kur (SPLA/IG), the current chairperson and deputy chairperson of the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC) respectively.
The cantonment of troops is required under Chapter Two of the August 2015 Agreement of the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS).
The pilot cantonment site is situated at Malubor, some 15km North of the capital city Juba, has freshly erected shelters, and is expected to canton up to 3,000 SPLA/IO-TD affiliated soldiers.
Tall, dry grass that has over-grown the site is currently being manually cleared in preparation for the arrival of the troops.
Despite huge funding gaps, which have delayed development of the site, the latest signs of progress are seen as a positive leap towards the beginning of cantonment of soldiers as envisaged in Chapter II (Article 2) of the ARCSS.
According to the Peace Agreement, the warring parties agree to the separation, assembly and cantonment of their forces previously in combat within thirty days of the signing of the Agreement to enable personnel, weapons and equipment accountability, screening, re-organization and/or disarmament and demobilization.
The next step, and challenge, in this process will be to establish and maintain logistical support to the troops being cantoned. The ARCSS also states, “Forces in cantonment shall receive non-military logistical supply including food, shelter and access to medical care.”
While in cantonment the troops will be prepared for the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process (yet to be established) which will see the some of the troops reintegrated into civilian life while others go forward for reintegration and reunification into government security forces.