South Sudan : first of its kind meeting between the military and rebel militias

Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, South Sudan's shaky peace. Photo : JSC

NEWSROOM (ADV) – South Sudan’s military and rebel forces have held talks around the capital Juba in an effort to forge unity and strengthen implementation of a recent peace deal.

Top commanders of the South Sudan people’s defence forces and the main rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) on Tuesday discussed ways of ending hostilities, state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Cooperation reported.

Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO deputy military spokesperson also confirmed that the two parties agreed to allow free movement of army personnel, civilians and humanitarian agencies in their respective territories.

Gabriel added that the two armies also agreed to take full responsibility for any criminal activity that may occur in territories under their control.

“The SPLA-IO applauds the courage of both teams who showed that peace is a priority at the moment in South Sudan, not political differences. Wish all South Sudanese the best. Peace!” said Gabriel.

There was no immediate comment from the military spokesperson Lul Ruai Koang.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

© Bur-csa – A.H / N.A – African Daily Voice (ADV)