Nov 07, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s main rival forces, the South Sudan People Defence Force (SSPDF) and the Sudan People Liberation Army in Opposition(SPLA-IO) met outside the capital, Juba, for the first time to dialogue their differences and agreed on numerous measures that give greenlight to peaceful implementation of the recently signed peace agreement.
The two armed delegations, one representing the SPLA-IO troops that are based around Juba and their government counterparts, who came from Juba, said they were responding to calls for peace as instructed by their chiefs of staff.
According to Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the Deputy Spokesperson of the SPLA(IO), this latest development came shortly after the two Chiefs of staff from both sides ordered their commanders on both sides to promote peace and help in building trust among the rival forces.
In an email extended to Nyamilepedia editorial desk, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel said “the meeting went smoothly” with several items of concern addressed amicably.
The meeting which took place on the 4th of this month cites “free movement of soldiers or security personnel with departure orders. The soldier must be unarmed and in none uniform.” part of the letter read.
On 31st last month, the SPLM/A-IO Commander-in-Chief, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, surprisingly attended the historic peace celebration in the capital Juba, a meeting that was arranged by the government of South Sudan.
The two leaders urged the people of South Sudan to trust them and forgive them for the pain they have inflicted in the country.
The meeting which involved high-level commanders from both sides agreed on the following points:
1. Enable free movement of Civilians, non-military logistics, and goods through or to our territories; that means all roads from North of Juba to Terekeka, Mundri and to Lainya must be open to everyone; there will be no detention or checking unless a person is carrying a gun and wearing a uniform.
2. Take full responsibility for any criminal activity that happens in each other’s territory and brings the perpetrators to books.
3. Give humanitarian organizations unhindered access to the most vulnerable population so that basic services can be provided to them.
In the meeting, the SPLA IO team was led by Brig. Gen. Warnyang Laku Buyu of Brigade 1, Division 2A, Sector 8 and accompanied by Col. Peter Gatluit Nyuot Col. John WIYUAL Col.Charles Jada Augustino while on the government side, B/Gen Chol Deng (D/Commando commander) and David Mayen Malual represented the government.
Col. Lam said “SPLA IO applauds the courage of both teams” for their willingness to show more commitment and making peace a priority.
The move is the first of its kind in a 5 years civil war which saw more than 4 million internally displaced persons leave their homes and nearly 2 million seeking refuge in the neighboring countries.
Hundreds of thousands remain under the protection of the UNMISS across the country and according to September UN reports nearly 400, 000 people are estimated dead.