By Atem John
At least five thousand soldiers from Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army-In Opposition( SPLA-IO) loyal to Dr. Riek Machar’s faction in Yei River State have joined the peace process and are ready for reorganization and reintegration following the Kampala peace accord brokered by church leaders.
According to national information minister Michael Makuei Lueth, the peace accord was signed Sunday last week by Brig. Gen. Hillary Edson Yakani, on behalf of Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In-Opposition (SPLA IO), and Maj. Gen. Marshal Babanen who signed on behalf of the government.
Minister Makuei told the press in a briefing, after an extra-ordinary council of ministers meeting on Wednesday that the forces have started assembling in transit camps were they would be moved to assembly points for reorganization and reintegration into the national army.
He said the cabinet has given the church a green-light to continue in pursuit of peace in Yei River State.
According to a communiqué issued after days of negotiations in Kampala, a permanent ceasefire takes effect from 5th June 2017.
Minister Makuei said the time frame for the implementation will depend on how fast the rebel forces go with the process. However, the armed opposition vowed to implement the signed agreement within 18 weeks.
Meanwhile, armed opposition faction loyal to Riek Machar, however, reportedly distanced themselves from those armed rebel groups who negotiated a similar agreement with Juba in Kampala, Uganda.