South Sudan Rebels Accept Amnesty, Surrendered To SPLA

South Sudanese soldiers walk alongside a tank as they withdraw from the town of Jau, at the disputed border with Sudan March 17, 2013. [Reuters | Hereward Holland]

On Friday, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir issued an amnesty for six rebel commanders with bases in Sudan.

The president mentioned the leaders of the different rebel groups as Maj. Gen. Gordon Kong, Maj. Gen. David Yau Yau, Maj. Gen. Bapiny Moyntuil Wicjang, Maj. Gen. Oyuog Ogot, Maj. Gen. Johnson Olwin and Maj. Gen. Munto Abdalla Munto.

A statement from the SSLA the leadership of South Sudan Liberation Army, South Sudan Democratic Army and South Sudan Defense Forces declared peace with the government of South Sudan starting from April, 26, 2013.

“All the rebels will start interacting with the SPLA army without any confrontation to bring peace to our country. We have ordered all rebel forces to move to the areas controlled by the SPLA to achieve peace,” said the statement.

The statement said that 5,000 forces of SSLA have moved to Mayom County as part of the ongoing peace process and would move to areas under the control of the SPLA army.

“The SSLA forces, under the command of Maj. Gen. Mathews Pul Jang, were received warmly today by the SPLA Division Four commander, Maj. Gen. James Koang in Mayom. The atmosphere was very warm that women and children started ululating and singing for the spirit of brotherhood that has come to South Sudan,” it says.

The statement said that within a week, a delegation that is composed of Lt. Gen. Gordon Koang Chol, Maj. Gen. Bapiny Monytuil, Maj. Gen. Johnson Olony, Maj. Gen. Karlo Kuol and Mr. Gordon Buay will land in Juba to meet President Salva Kiir Mayardit to finalize the integration of all rebel forces to the SPLA army.

The SSLA, formed in the late 1990s, is one of largest rebel groups in the region. It switched sides several times during the civil war between north and south Sudan that killed some 2 million people in fighting over oil, religion, ideology and identity. The war, which began in 1983, ended with a 2005 peace deal that paved the way for the southern secession.

This is the second time the President is renewing the amnesty offer to the various rebel groups despite others like Yau Yau abrogating such pardons before and returned to the bush. 

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