Regional observers raise concerns about troop conditions
In a meeting with the Chairman for the National Transitional Committee (NTC) Tut Gatluak today, a number of international observers and partners raised concerns about the state of troop training in South Sudan.
Held in Juba, the meeting saw IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan Dr. Ismail Was, AU Ambassador to South Sudan Joram Biswaro and RJMEC Chairman Charles Tai Gituai discuss a number of security issues with Gatluak.
Amongst these issues was the alleged state of troop training centres and cadet schools across South Sudan, with a number of reports stating that soldiers were living in subpar conditions.
These concerns were compounded by recent delays to graduations from basic training, and the postponement of phase two training in almost all troop training centres.
Last week, the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMVM) reported that dire conditions in these centres had led to widespread desertions and aimless armed troops, many of which had been implicated in violent incidents surrounding bases.
Despite this, NTC Chairman Gatluak asserted that arrangements were underway to graduate and deploy all troops currently in training, a sentiment echoed by Minister of Defence Angelina Teny.