The newly appointed head of the South Sudan’s Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Verification Mechanism (CTSAM-VM) already has his work cut out if he is to succeed in his mandate.
The new boss, Ethiopian Lt. Gen. Asrat Denero who took oath of office on Monday after being appointed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) is a seasoned military officer.
Igad’s executive secretary spokesperson Nuur Mohamud Sheekh described him as a true professional.
“He is globally respected, highly competent & a professional officer,” Sheekh said.
General Asrat However takes over at a time when the parties to the agreement have missed several deadlines in regards to the formation of the unified forces.
As chair of CTSAM-VM), Gen. Denero is expected to engage the parties to the agreement to respect the Khartoum ceasefire and cessation of hostilities deal of 2018.
The Kitgwang group who have constantly clashed with forces loyal to their former boss First Vice President Dr Riek Machar will have to also top his agenda in regards to the Khartoum pact among other minor skirmishes in the country.
Before replacing his compatriot Maj Gen Teshome Gemechu , Lt. Gen. Asrat served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ethiopia Ground Forces and coordinator of the Metekel Zone Integrated Command Post.
He also had stints as head of the Ethiopia military’s community information department and commander of the Western Command.
In his new capacity, he will report to Igad on the progress of implementation of the ceasefire agreement in South Sudan.