September 21, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, has approved the establishment of up to four cantonment sites for members of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA-IO) in Equatoria region.
- A batch of the SPLA-IO forces after arrival in Juba, 1 April, 2016 (ST Photo)
Speaking as the chief guest on Wednesday at Nyakuron Culture Center at an occasion marking the international peace day, Vice President, James Wani Igga, announced that President Kiir, as a result of good working relationship, has approved the establishment of four cantonment sites for SPLA-IO forces.
“There will be four cantonment sites in Equatoria. One cantonment site will be in Eastern Equatoria, one in Central Equatoria and another in Western Equatoria. And because of the July incidents which resulted into some SPLA-IO running into UNMISS; there will also be another one for such people. So in total, there will be four cantonment sites in Equatoria alone. This excludes Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile, said Igga.
“Isn’t [it] a strong sign of commitment to implement peace, particularly security arrangement?” asked Igga who has been quiet for a long time since the fighting erupted at the Presidential Palace on 8 July between rival forces and appointment of his party junior officer, Taban Deng Gai, to replace Machar.
The vice president counted himself as somebody who would be among those who are ready to champion realization of peace and stability in the country, citing his personal decision to step down from his position twice.
“I am not stupid as this is what others may say. I accepted to give Riek my position because I value peace. I also accept to allow Taban Deng Gai to succeed him out of respect to the agreement. It is not because I am stupid but because of the importance of peace and stability,” he said.
If there are four people pushing for realization of peace in this country at any cost, including abandoning their positions, he said, “I am one of them.”
It is not clear which SPLA-IO forces will be cantoned as the replaced Machar seems to still be in control of them and are in their controlled locations out of reach by the government.