August 13, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan cabinet has approved the establishment of cantonment sites and integration of members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army who have switched allegiance to President Salva Kiir’s newly appointed First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai.
- A batch of the SPLA-IO forces after arrival in Juba, 1 April, 2016 (ST Photo)
Information and Broadcasting Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, announced on Friday that the cabinet has agreed to approve the establishment of the cantonment sites and to integrate members of the SPLA-IO forces after getting into the assembling points.
Minister Lueth, however, did not say whether the cantonment sites for SPLA-IO forces would extend to the two regions of Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria. He government has previously rejected the establishment of the cantonment sites for members of armed opposition forces in the two regions, claiming the areas did not experience active combat during the more than two years civil war in the country. He advocated for limited establishment of the cantonment sites to the Upper Nile region.
“The cabinet has approved the establishment of the SPLA-IO forces. The president will today (Friday) issue orders to implement the resolution of the council of ministers,” said Lueth in a statement broadcast by the state owned South Sudan broadcasting Corporation on Friday evening.
The president, however, did not issue any republican order on Friday and it remains unclear when He will issue orders to implement the decision of the cabinet meeting in which he participated with his new first deputy, Taban Deng Gai.
It is also not unclear why the president has accepted the establishment of the cantonment sites for members of armed opposition forces after he declined to sign the minutes of the meeting he had with the Former Vice President, Riek Machar and Vice President James Wani Iagga.
Observers are keen to stress that President Kiir stalled the implementation of key provisions in the agreement because of his personal dislike of Machar whom he did not take any credit for successful implementation of the peace agreement.