South Sudan parties form unified armed forces command

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JUBA, April 13 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan's parties have formed the much-awaited unified armed forces command following several months of delay.

President Salva Kiir issued a decree on Tuesday on state television (SSBC) in which he announced several appointees to head the unified South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF), prisons, police, intelligence, and wildlife.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-In Government (SPLM-IG) under Kiir took 60 percent of the command structure while the remaining 40 percent was allocated to the remaining SPLM/A-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) led by First Vice President Riek Machar and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA).

Machar and other opposition groups submitted names of officers to President Kiir to be integrated into the security services.

The parties had previously differed on the power-sharing ratios on the unified armed forces command of various mechanisms leading to the withdrawal of SPLM/A-IO on March 22 from all the security mechanisms.

The unified command which is stipulated in the September 2018 revitalized peace deal will be leading the unified armed forces whose graduation is expected to be completed within two months under a deal signed on April 3 which ended the deadlock on the crucial part of the security arrangement. Enditem

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