Source: Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

Major-General James Ochan Puot (SSNA photo)
January 21, 2020 (JUBA) - South Sudan's ceasefire monitoring body blamed the government army for welcoming a splinter general in Maiwut last year saying the move was against the spirit of peace.

In September 2019, the South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF) welcomed the SPLM-IO Maj Gen James Ochan Puot when he broke away from the government main peace partner.

Puot was the deputy commander of the SPLA-IO's in charge of its 5th division.

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"The change of allegiance to the Government (side) did not act in the spirit of the (Revitalized Peace) Agreement, said Teshome Gemechu Aderie CTSAMVM Chairman in a speech delivered at The 14th CTSAMVM board meeting on Tuesday.

"As the strength of the SSPDF was increased as a result, this can be considered as recruitment," he further stressed pointing to a clear violation of the peace pact.

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The Ethiopian who has been recently appointed as the chair of the ceasefire monitoring body, however, stressed that the end of armistice continues to hold throughout most of South Sudan.

Nonetheless, he said that their investigation into the fighting that took place in Maiwut between July and August 2019 found that the conflicting parties did not protect civilians and "that women had been raped in clear violation of the Revitalized Agreement".

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"The investigation was hampered by repeated denial of access by the SSPDF in violation of the R-ARCSS," he further stressed.

At the time, President Salva Kiir and SPLM-Io leader Riek Machar summoned their local commanders to Juba and ordered them to observe the ceasefire.

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