Juba, October 30, 2019 (SSNA) — The Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) has abandoned at least five cantonment sites, a leaked memo from the Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) shows.
The official who leaked the document to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) that the armed opposition deserted Pantiit, Sue, Ngo Alimah, MKendila, and Mirmir assembly sites. The source who asked his name not to be published because of the sensitivity of the case is a senior official with the CTSAMVM.
“I can confirm to you that the SPLA-IO left Mirmir, Ngo Alimah, Pantiit, MKendila, and Sue cantonment areas,” the source says, adding, “There is no food or medicines for the opposition forces.”
CTSAMVM, a body tasked to monitor the implementation of the September 2018 peace agreement, believes that the abandonment of sites is a result of a lack of funding. The agency added that the move could jeopardize peace.
The armed opposition has in the past accused South Sudan’s government of systematically refusing to release peace money, saying Juba is using oil revenues as a tool to further obstruct the implementation of the deal.
The SPLM/A-IO and the government are required by the pact to form a unified national army before a transitional government is formed by November 12 dateline. It is not clear if a unity government will be established next month.
The South Sudan News Agency understands that Salva Kiir was ordered by IGAD on August 23 to release money allocated for peace but insisted he was busy. On October 26, Kiir was also asked by IGAD, international envoys, and other peace partners to disburse the money. It is not clear if he will agree.