Nearly $60 million needed for security arrangements – JDB

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JUBA, South Sudan

South Sudan’s Joint Defense Board has said that nearly 60 million US dollars is needed to fully implement the security arrangements during the pre-transitional period.

During a meeting held on Tuesday, the South Sudan’s Peoples Defense Force Spokesperson (SSPDF) Major General, Lul Ruai Koang said that the board had proposed 14 cantonment sites across the country.

 “There was a proposal on having 14 [cantonment sites], generally for this, 14 to be up and running, to have facilities, medical facilities, water points, shelters, and other basic requirements.” He said.

Gen Koang noted that at least 59 million is needed for the implementation of the security arrangements.

“It will require 59 million US dollars and nobody is available to do that, to give us that funding, that’s the projection. So, the practical problem we have is the problem of funding.” he said.

He added that they are behind the implementation schedule and are faced with a time challenge.

He said: “We are behind schedule; we are basically left with 3 or 4 months for the transitional government of national unity to be formed. It is not going to be realistic if we do not Fast Track the process,”.

Meanwhile, the Joint Defense Board says it is working on ways to speed up implementation of the security mechanisms.

Speaking after the discussion, SSPDF chief of staff, Jok Riak called on all the military commands to work together and agree on mechanisms to start cantonment of the forces.

“We are going to discuss the issue of cantonment sites and the cantonment sites need a lot of things and also its need time and the time is moving, we are going to have results at that and this result you will hear about it,” Gen. Riak said.

He also called for flexibility to initiate new ideas that can support the process.

The defense board co-chair, James Koang Chuol said the board will soon visit cantonment site across the country.

“We will visit you in all the places, areas of the SSPDF, the area of SPLA/IO and also places of SSOA forces, we will go there all of us.”

For his part, the chairperson of the National Pre-transitional period, Tut Gatluak appreciated the cooperation among the defense board members.

The JDB was established under the peace agreement, at a level of chief of staff and director general of national security service, police and all other forces. It is tasked with the command and control over all forces during the pre-transitional period.

JDB is mandated to determine the collection of heavy and medium range weapons and ammunition and the cantonment of forces.