South Sudan: Rebel Police Generals Arrive in Juba for Transitional Government Formation
South Sudan’s fractured peace deal progressed a step on Thursday after the arrival of 22 SPLA-IO police generals in Juba for the creation of a transitional government.
The transitional government is a core element of the nation’s peace deal, which effectively sees a power share between government and rebel forces. This includes 22 SPLA-IO police generals forming part of the Joint Integrated Police (JIP) with the same number of generals from the government’s police.
‘The beginning’ of peace in South Sudan
South Sudanese information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, welcomed the generals at Juba International Airport on Thursday and said their arrival signals the beginning of peace implementation in the country.
“The arrival of these 22 police officers marks the beginning of the real implementation of the peace agreement and the security for Juba,” he said.
The incoming generals are making their first return to Juba since the country’s civil war broke out, more than two years ago.
Machar return imminent
Rebel leader Riek Machar has been expected back in Juba since last month, after he was reinstated as South Sudan’s vice-president. However, Machar has put off his return until his security guards arrive in the capital.
“Very soon, we shall receive the soldiers and police units that will be the bodyguards of Dr. Riek Machar Teny,” said Taban Deng Gai, the SPLM-IO chief negotiator, alongside Makuei at the airport.
“Maybe on Saturday or Friday and the following days, the bodyguards of the first vice president will be airlifted from Malakal and other towns to Juba and this will follow the coming of Dr. Riek Machar,” he said – without specifying when Machar will arrive.