Ceasefire monitors accuse SPLM/A-IO forces of rape
South Sudan’s ceasefire monitors on Tuesday expressed concerns over a rape incident at Kuok in May by the armed opposition forces (SPLM/A-IO) and subsequent removal of the alleged rapist from jail.
This came during the 10th CTSAMVM board meeting in Juba.
“Although contained in one violation report, these incidents amount to two violations under the Revitalized Peace Agreement and the incorporated Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities,” Desta Abiche Ageno, chairperson of the ceasefire monitoring body told the 10th CTSAMVM board meeting in Juba.
The official further said the CTSAMVM Technical Committee (CTC) had so far conducted two joint field visits, the first to a South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) assembly area at Riah on August 10 and the second to Aswa cantonment site on August 27.
He, however, said the cantonment process remains slow and the ceasefire monitoring body welcomes the IGAD Council of Ministers’ communiqué, which resolved that at least 50 per cent of the 83,000 necessary unified forces should be cantoned, trained and deployed before the end of September.
“CTSAMVM has observed the arrival of new forces at 9 sites for SPLM/A-IO cantonment and at 5 sites for SSOA cantonment. CTSAMVM has not observed the arrival of any new TGoNU forces at Barrack Cantonment apart from the existing garrisoned units,” Abiche said.
The official pointed out that the cantonment process still faces many challenges and that commanders complained of lack of logistical support.
Abiche said ceasefire monitors may have seen a number of vacations of civilian buildings, but said the process has slowed as they have witnessed further occupations last month.
“Of the 36 buildings reported as occupied at the last Board meeting, 3 have been vacated by the SSPDF, but 4 buildings have been newly occupied by the SPLM/A-IO. A total of 37 civilian buildings are now occupied, mostly by government forces,” Abiche told the meeting.
He urged the parties to the peace deal to vacate these buildings immediately to enable the people of South Sudan to resume their normal lives.
Government and opposition officials could not immediately be reached for comment.