South Sudan

Kiir allows Machar rocket launchers in Juba


The government has accepted the compromise proposal on arrangements for the return of Dr Rie Machar made by the regional and international members of JMEC.

On Thursday, SPLM-IO demanded be allowed to transport from Gambella 20 PKM machine guns and 20 RPG rocket launchers, in addition to the individual weapons of the 195 accompanying personnel.

“I welcome this concession by the Government, following yesterday’s acceptance by the SPLM/A (IO) of the compromise proposal,” said JMEC Chairman Festus Mogae in a statement.

“It is now vital that the First Vice President-designate returns to Juba tomorrow and the Transitional Government of National Unity is formed immediately upon his arrival. No further delay is tolerable.”

Earlier, the regional and international partners in the peace agreement have expressed strong objection to any new conditions to the security arrangements in Juba for the return of Machar.

They made the remark in a proposal they submitted to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, following the failure of Dr Machar to return to Juba early this week.

The partners noted that both the government and the opposition agreed to conditions for the return of the SPLM-IO leader during several meetings, starting from 23 February this year.

The decisions included the transportation of 1,370 opposition police and soldiers with their weapons to Juba.

The government would then redeploy the forces in Juba, in accordance with the security arrangements.

They say that the government and the opposition had agreed that the heavy weapons of the SPLM in Opposition would be transported to Juba with the help Ethiopia, which they say, was done.

The international partners expressed disappointment in Dr. Riek Machar’s decision to impose new conditions for his return to Juba, demanding that his Chief of General Staff and extra forces arrive before him.

They also noted with disappointment that the government had imposed restrictions on the composition of Dr Machar’s delegation when it has an overwhelming military force and superiority in Juba.

The international partners stated that if the parties do not adhere to the recommendations, the JMEC should request IGAD to hold and emergency Heads of States Summit.

The partners include China, the Troika, the European Union and Canada. Others are Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and the UN mission in the country.

Eye Radio

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