South Sudan Rebel Arrives In Capital For Peace Deal


The deputy chief of a South Sudanese rebel group has returned to the capital Juba as part of a peace deal, raising hopes that the opposition leader will return next week. Alfred Ladu Gore, a former general and minister, flew into the capital’s airport after more than two years fighting in the bush.

“I am very happy to be home … our advance team came here to proclaim peace and I have come to reaffirm that peace will not be reversed,” Gore said, after arriving with a delegation of around 60 people. Gore, though, condemned the arrest of 16 of his supporters who had been mobilising people to welcome him.

“Peace means freedom to express your mind, to gather together even if it means you disagree,” he said.  He was welcomed by Akol Paul, a senior member of the ruling party. “His arrival today signifies that indeed the war has come to an end,” Paul said. A 1,370-strong force of opposition soldiers and police completed also arrived in Juba over the weekend.

They assured the security of rebel chief Riek Machar – named vice president in February – who is due to arrive in Juba next week. Civil war erupted in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of reprisal killings that have split the country along ethnic lines. Machar has said he will come to Juba on April 18 to form a unity government, which would be the first time he has returned to the capital since he fled two years ago.