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South Sudan Cease-fire Panel Accuses President's Forces of Violations


FILE - South Sudanese soldiers listen during a briefing at the army general headquarters in Juba, Jan. 8, 2014.

FILE - South Sudanese soldiers listen during a briefing at the army general headquarters in Juba, Jan. 8, 2014.

Two weeks after the former warring parties in South Sudan's conflict formed the Transitional Government of National Unity, cease-fire monitors say President Salva Kiir's forces are still not cooperating with security monitors in implementing security arrangements, as set forth in the peace agreement.

Major General Molla Hailemariam, who chairs the Ceasefire Transitional and Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), said Thursday that monitors still face resistance from government forces.

"CTSAMM is not in the position to declare completion of transitional security arrangements in Juba, since the government has not declared its forces completely,” Hailemariam said. “It is my hope that with the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity, the outstanding issue can be addressed properly and expeditiously."

Hailemariam's group is charged with ensuring full implementation of the security arrangements per the August peace agreement signed by the government and rebels.

Kiir's military commanders are required by the agreement to redeploy some forces outside Juba and inform Hailemariam's group about the number of forces withdrawn from the capital.

Hailemariam told reporters in Juba that there has been a marked decline in violations of the permanent cease-fire in recent weeks.

"We have observed that the last few weeks is a very calm quiet,” Hailemariam said. “We are very hopeful that we are shifting from investigating alleged violations to peaceful formation of unified forces in this country."

Earlier this month, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission called on both government and opposition officials to instruct their military commanders to fully cooperate and abide by the permanent cease-fire.

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