August 15, 2019 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese First Vice-President, Taban Deng Gai on Thursday briefed President Salva Kiir on the full integration of the armed opposition (SPLA-IO) faction loyal to him into the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF).
The minister for the presidency, Mayiik Ayii Deng and his national security counterpart, Gen. Mabote Mamur Mete attended the meeting.
Gai, the Presidential Press Unit noted, thanked the South Sudanese leader for working hard to restore peace and stability.
At the meeting, the First Vice President urged Kiir to continue similar steps of integrating other forces into one organized national army.
In May 2017, Gai, who was leading a faction of the SPLM/A-IO group in Juba, dissolved his faction and joined the governing party (SPLM).
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to fighting that pitted mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that have sought refuge into neighboring countries.