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JUBA - 23 Feb 2016

JMEC urges consultations with Bari community over army relocation

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) in South Sudan has encouraged the government and military to consult with Bari, Lokaya and Olubo communities over plans to relocate troops from Juba city to outlying areas.

The peace agreement signed last year in August requires many SPLA troops in Juba to withdraw from the city by a distance of at least 25 kilometres.

Some of the areas identified for the relocation of these troops belong to Bari-speaking tribes.

In a speech today in Juba, JMEC Chairman Festus Mogae pointed out that these communities are concerned about losing their land to new military bases.

“Let me note... that I recently received a letter from the Bari, Lokaya and Olubo communities expressing concern at the lack of consultation that has taken place over locations in Juba county where forces will now be accomodated,” said Mogae.

He added, “Those communities are concerned that their land will be taken in the move of government forces from the city of Juba. I would encourage the government representatives, civilian and military, to consult widely with the relevant communities, and ensure that any worries are addressed.”

Mogae's remarks on this matter were included in the text of a speech that he is expected to deliver today at a meeting of JMEC in the capital Juba. The speech text was released by the JMEC secretariat this morning.

JMEC is a committee created by the August 2015 peace agreement, tasked with overseeing implemetation of the deal. It is headed by former Botswana President Festus Mogae and includes representatives of international supporters of the peace deal as well as all parties who signed the deal.  

Photo: SPLA troops assembling in Juba for withdrawal from the city, February 2016 (Radio Tamazuj)