TheIntergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has welcomed the recent agreement signed by South Sudan’s main peace parties on the unification of command forces, in a move to form one professional army.
In a statement seen by The EastAfrican on Monday, IGAD’s Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu applauded the step taken by peace parties towards the full implantation of transitional security arrangements.
“IGAD commended H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Vice-President H.E. Riek Machar and the parties to the agreement for the goodwill and thanked the Government of the Republic of Sudan, the Chair of IGAD, for brokering the deal.
“The Executive Secretary calls on all the parties to respect the terms of the agreement and implement it fully, faithfully and timely,” said Workneh.
Last week, there was tension in South Sudan’s capital Juba after President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar disagreed on how to implement some security arrangements as stipulated in the 2018 peace agreement.
But with Sudan’s efforts, the peace parties signed an agreement over the weekend to unify the forces into one professional army as stated in the 2018 peace deal.
South Sudan has suffered instability since independence from Sudan in 2011.
The UN has repeatedly criticised South Sudan's leadership for its role in stoking violence, cracking down on political freedoms and plundering public coffers.
Latest reports show that fighting continues in some parts of the country.
At least 440 civilians were killed in brutal fighting between rival militias in the country's southwest between June and September last year, a joint report by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Human Rights Office said earlier this month.