Home | News    Saturday 28 May 2016

S. Sudan cabinet approves SPLA-IO forces cantonment in Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal


May 27, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s transitional government of national unity (TGoNU) in its cabinet sitting on Friday has unexpectedly passed a resolution approving establishment of cantonment areas for the forces of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) in Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr el Ghazal.

A batch of the SPLA-IO forces after arrival in Juba, 1 April, 2016 (ST Photo)

Micheal Makuei Lueth, information minister, told reporters after the council of ministers meeting that cantonment areas will be identified in Greater Equatoria region for the SPLA-IO forces under the commander-in-chief, First Vice President, Riek Machar.

He said the task will be carried out by the Joint Monitoring Ceasefire Committee (JMCC), a body established under the August 2015 peace agreement to monitor the implementation of the security arrangements across the country.

JMCC membership is composed of members from the rival parties and partners in the peace agreement.

As for Greater Bahr el Ghazal, Lueth said the JMCC will also assess the level of the SPLA-IO forces in that region to determine whether to identify cantonment areas as well.

He further said cantonment sites for the SPLA-IO forces are yet to be identified in Greater Upper Nile region by the JMCC despite the fact that the agreement earlier approved establishment of the assembly areas in the oil producing region.

The issue of the cantonment of opposition forces had been contentious, with minister Lueth earlier vowing not to allow the SPLA-IO forces to be assembled in Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal regions.

However, the breakthrough to establish opposition’s cantonment areas in Equatoria and probably in Bahr el Ghazal was reached in the cabinet meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir and attended by his first deputy, Machar, among other cabinet members.

The information minister, in the statement broadcasted on South Sudan Television (SSTV) also revealed that the matter had heated debates that took several hours.

Lueth further said those who will be allowed to assemble in Equatoria will be the soldiers who took part in the Juba clashes of December 2013. He did not however say how to identify those who took part in the clashes, but added all must report to the cantonment areas with their guns as one of the criteria.

The minister also accused armed men who claimed to be members of the SPLA-IO for causing insecurity on the roads, killing a number of people.

He said a security report presented to the cabinet indicated that insecurity was deteriorating in the country.

“Security situation is discouraging, it is deteriorating,” he said.

He added that the First Vice President, Machar, who chairs the SPLM-IO and commands the SPLA-IO was directed by the cabinet to control his forces in Equatoria region as well as his commander, General Johnson Olony, in Upper Nile region.

The minister also said the SPLM-IO leadership was directed to order his forces to open up supply routes and allow governors of Greater Upper Nile, appointed on the basis of 28 states, to reach their areas.

Lueth also added that the commander-in-chief of the SPLA, President Salva Kiir, and the commander-in-chief of the SPLA-IO, Riek Machar, were also directed to order the release of prisoners of war being held by the either side.

The cabinet could not discuss the status of the 28 states and reconstitution of parliament.


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  • 28 May 2016 00:34, by Malakal county Simon

    We been telling you that the government has lost the control of Equatoria region and thanks for finally recognizing the SPLM-IO existing in the area.... what’s next, steps-by-steps!!!! The issues of segregated 28 States and the SPLM-IO contentment sites in Bar_el_ghazel region which I,m confidence to be resolves amicable soon...... Great job SPLM-IO members!!!!!!

    • 28 May 2016 20:39, by Native Boy

      Good gesture for glimpse of hope for total PEACE in RSS!!!
      Bravo, Council of Ministers of TGoNU for first time taking challenging confidence to face the truth of a matter in recognizing IO in these two regions of which they truly exist as opposed to the previous statements denying presence of IO in these areas yet innocent lives have been claimed by both parties in such of each other.

      • 28 May 2016 20:52, by Native Boy

        However, as a nationalist I request the government to raise to the challenge that accommodation of each other views and opinion in the council is very important. This assist a spirit of CHECK & BALANCE but shouldn’t be considered just OPPOSITION.
        Otherwise 28 states issue and formation of TNLA is argent matter to discuss in order to show maturity in the LEADERSHIP.For THREATS is a sign of DISUNITY

  • 28 May 2016 01:55, by Nyesi Ta

    Now the next thing Kiir Al Awiir need to address is to revoke his unconstitutional 28 states that he illegally created w/o consulting the people. Step one has been done, now let’s move to step 2 which is the revokation of his illegally created Jieng states.

  • 28 May 2016 07:00, by Eastern

    ....skirting around the issue of 28 states won’t help; the issue of SPLA-IO cantonement sites outside the Greater Upper Nile region was always going to haunt Kiir and cohorts. Let the Dinka and their ilk go and look at the faces of folks who would be assembling there to find out if they are only nuers!

  • 28 May 2016 09:10, by Dengda

    Times and lives wasted never be recovered, why then wasted such precious gift? The issue of road robbery will be treated as isolation incident, if that trend continues, then those carrying out that be criminals will tackle jointly and treat as crime. I hope such act will automatically stopped. Having criminal killed and not taking property can not be treated as robbery, someone who want attention.

    • 28 May 2016 10:20, by J P Puok

      ka wie bao! Red lines after red lines are broken into! we are nearing the finishing lines. But did I over heard him saying governors from greater upper Nile be allowed to go? which governors? Lueth, do you mean governors of Unity and upper Nile states ? or you mean the bunch of James Kok Ruea and the likes? ahahaha you are joking Mr. Layer

  • 28 May 2016 10:38, by Eastern

    I pity Makuei; this fellow is always in the news for issues leaving egg in his face. He tried hard to fail the peace negotiation, tried and failed to persuade Kiir not to sign the ARCISS, tried and failed to block the return of Dr Riek. Now he and Malong have tried but failed prevent the setting up of cantonment sites outside the GUN Region.

  • 28 May 2016 10:48, by Kerem

    When two women fight, it is difficult to determine who will win the fight. Government and IOs are alike. We do not have any government in South Sudan

    • 28 May 2016 12:29, by Hardlinner

      Kerem, you are right. people in south sudan need to know who they are supporting. both IG and IO are all corrupt and warmongers. there is no side that any one could put up his/her hand to support.

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