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In South Sudan, civil war veterans join army and police

In South Sudan, civil war veterans join army and police
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More than 20,000 South Sudanese men and women, many of whom were killing each other just four years ago, took the oath together on August 30, 2022 in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, pledging to serve their young state. L’ “unification of forces” is one of the key points of the peace agreement signed in 2018.

An important first step

South Sudan is thus beginning to apply an agreement that ended the civil war (2013-2018). It ravaged the country, killing nearly 400,000 people and displacing millions. After a common formation, former rebels and enemy brothers join the institutions of the State: army, police and security services.

In all, 50,000 men and women will be part of the unified forces. Most of the new graduates were content with dummy weapons because of the embargo imposed by the UN Security Council which saw no progress on the ground.

Everything has to be done

It was under international pressure, particularly from Washington, that the peace agreement was signed. The formula of a “government of national unity” relaunched power sharing between President Salva Kiir and his lifelong rival, Riech Machar.

Many provisions of the agreement remain pending, such as the drafting of a Constitution, a reform of the management of public finances, the establishment of judicial institutions. This delay is detrimental to the young State created in 2011 which has not yet put in place a solid system to improve the living conditions of its population.

Bad governance and corruption

The United Nations has repeatedly denounced the attitude of the leaders of South Sudan, whom it accuses of stoking violence, repressing political freedoms and embezzling public funds. Despite a rich potential thanks to oil resources, South Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Bad governance, corruption and instability weaken the country. Nearly nine million people, out of a population of more than 11 million, will need international aid this year because of the food crisis but also the renewed violence, according to the UN.

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