Ex-rebel commander signs peace with gov’t in Kapoeta

By David Mono Danga

Thomas Cirilo’s defected army commander has signed a peace deal, Kapoeta Grassroots Peace Agreement, with the government in Kapoeta State.

The National Salvation Front (NAS) ex-commander Maj. Gen. Simon Carlo Lopanyang signed the peace agreement with his counterpart Maj. Gen. Joseph Buong Anyardit on Monday.

The deal was mediated by Elias Taban, the Bishop of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church- Peace Desk in Yei River State.

“We have signed Kapoeta grassroots peace agreement with the government,” Carlo confirmed in a press statement released yesterday. He said lasting peace can only be achieved by South Sudanese themselves.

Major Carlo urged citizens to join the peace initiative and attain sustainable peace in the country.

Maj. Gen. Carlo had confirmed ditching General Thomas Cirilo NAS party for the government earlier this week in Juba.

“I have come with my advance team of a total 12 in number and there are about 25,000 forces on the ground in Kapoeta State who will soon come to Juba,” Maj. Gen. Carlo said.

According to Gen. Carlo, he was coming home to implement the peace agreement and to reconcile with the grievances that had come up at the local government in Kapoeta State.

“We have come to find a solution to our problems. Solution to our problem cannot be given by foreigners but it is within us,” he said.

Gen. Carlo said he was responding to the grown grassroot peace initiative that the government had undertaken to restore lasting peace in the country.

The document provides for political detainees and prisoners of war will be released immediately and reinstated to their previous institutions of employment.

The deal provides for integration of all rebel fighters under the leadership of Gen. Carlo Lopanyang into the army and other organized forces.

The government, according to the deal, will allocate two ministries and two commissions to the breakaway group in the state.

The government agreed to return all properties belonging to the NAS faction that were either confiscated or frozen in the state.



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