August 28, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s former vice president, Riek Machar, has on Friday, 28 August, declared permanent ceasefire and directed all his opposition forces to fully implement it as of midnight, 29 August 2015.
- Riek Machar prepares to address a news conference during the peace signing meeting in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, August 17, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)
In a statement he communicated to all units of the rebel forces, Machar directed his chief of general staff, Major General Simon Gatwech Dual, to implement the order in accordance with the IGAD Plus compromise peace agreement.
“Reference to Chapter II article 1.1 of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan signed on 17th August 2015 in Addis Ababa, and 26th August 2015 in Juba, I, Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA), hereby order all SPLM/SPLA forces to cease fire in the country as of midnight 29th August 2015,” Machar issued the order in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday evening.
“All forces are to remain alert in their current positions and to act only on self defence or respond upon aggression,” the statement reads.
The ceasefire declaration by the top armed opposition leader, now first vice president-designate, comes a day after president Salva Kiir declared to cease fire also with effect from midnight 29 August 2015.
This is accordance with the provision on ceasefire in the peace agreement which calls on both warring parties to declare permanent ceasefire 72 hours after the signing of the deal.
The two parties, according to the peace accord, are expected to work out the process of disengagement of forces as well as demilitarization of the capital, Juba, Bor, Malakal and Bentiu and deployment of joint integrated police forces in the cities from both sides beginning from the three months of pre-transitional period before formation of transitional government of national unity.
A work shop to bring together senior military officers of the two rival forces is expected to be organized in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, next week for the preparations in implementing the security arrangements.