He arrived aboard a chartered Tarco Aircraft that also carried 195 soldiers together with 20 PKMs and 20 RPGs. The weapons were agreed by the government and opposition in a plan last week for the arrival of SPLM-IO Chairman Riek Machar.
The Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, the Chief of Staff of the Sudan People Liberation Movement-In Opposition-SPLM-IO, has arrived in Juba from Gambella, western Ethiopia.
He arrived at 3pm aboard a chartered Tarco Aircraft that also carried 195 soldiers together with 20 PKMs machine guns and 20 RPG rocket launchers. The weapons were agreed by the government and opposition in a plan last week for the arrival of SPLM-IO Chairman Riek Machar.
Gatwech told press at the airport that he was happy to be home to Juba and that his coming was part of implementing the peace agreement and there was no going back to war. He then departed from the airport toward the Jebel area of the city where he is expected to be accommodated.
He was received on behalf of the government by Akol Paul, War Disabled, War Widows and War Orphans Commission, Chairman Deng Dau Deng and Gen Marial Chanuong of the presidential guard. The SPLM-IO Advance Team leader Taban Deng was also present to receive him.
His return was welcomed by members of Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders (JCE), saying it is a positive development towards the implementation of the peace agreement.
â€œThe council welcomes the coming of the SPLA-IO chief of staff," General Bona Dhol a prominent member of the council said. He added; â€œPeace does not get itself implemented when people are not sitting and talking in the same place."
The JCE is a group of influential Dinka politicians who serve as advisors to President Salva Kiir. It is not a group of traditional leaders or chiefs.