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ADDIS ABABA - 4 Nov 2015

Negotiators decide to slash National Security strength in Juba to 170 only

SPLA and SPLA-IO negotiators have agreed in Addis Ababa to limit the strength of the National Security Service to only 170 men in Juba of which 50 will be members of the SPLM/SPLA-IO.

The decision comes in line with a provision of the August peace agreement requiring partial demilitarization of Juba. The August peace deal did not specify the maximum number of troops allowed in Juba but recent security talks have clarified the matter.

The document signed yesterday is called the “Outcome of the Meeting of the Principal Signatory Parties to the Agreement on Planning Implementation of the Provisions of Chapter II of the Agreement.”

Article 2 of the document sets the number of presidential guards at 1,000 including 650 drawn from the existing government forces and 350 from the rebel SPLA-IO. There will be 500 military police allowed to remain in Juba and Joint Integrated Police of 3,000, which shall be drawn equally from the government and rebel forces.

Only 120 of the existing National Security Service personnel will be allowed to remain in Juba, according to the document. Others must withdraw from the city by at least 25 kilometers.

Earlier in the talks, the generals in Addis Ababa decided that the National Security Service members in Juba will not be allowed to carry any kind of rifles or assault rifles, but only pistols.

This decision, endorsed by SPLA Lt-Gen. Malek Ruben, specifies that “The NSS shall not wear military uniform or any other security force uniforms while inside the 25km zone around Juba and shall be limited to the carriage of side arms (pistols) only.”

Yesterday's decision was signed by Maj-Gen. Marshal Stephen Babanen, Lt-Gen. James Koang Chuol Ranley and Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak.