An SPLA-IO commander in Torit State has apologized for crimes his forces may have committed against civilians during the conflict.
After the renewed conflict in July 2016, Torit State reportedly witnessed atrocities, especially at the areas along the Juba-Nimule Road and Magwi.
Multiple media reports showed that several people were killed; thousands displaced, and property destroyed.
As part of the implementation of the September 12 revitalized peace agreement, Torit state authorities and SPLA-IO command in the area have met over implementation of the peace deal security arrangements.
The meeting, facilitated by the ceasefire monitor-CTSAMM, took place yesterday in Torit town.
Major-General Paul Oyoo Galario Modi, the acting commander of the SPLA-IO in the region, after the meeting expressed condolences to families of those who lost loved ones during the civil war.
“I’m thankful to all my fellow citizens. I’m saying if someone has lost his/her brother during the fighting, am conveying my condolence to them all on this day on behalf of [SPLA-IO] sector 9.”
General Galario then asked for forgiveness for damages his forces might have inflicted on the civilians:
“If one of us has done something wrong to you or to Torit State citizens, am urging for forgiveness, we have to start a new chapter.”
He called for cooperation between the armed forces in order to implement the agreement. “We want to implement this peace, and for us we are messengers and let us cooperate amongst ourselves – both SPLA-IO and SSPDF within this state.”
For his part, the governor of Torit, Tobiolo Alberio Oromo said: “Thanks a lot for Maj. General Paul Oyoo Galario Modi with all your cadres that are here. Your response for the peace … shows the heart of a responsible human being.”
Mr Tobiolo said people should forget the past and change their mindset to experience the peace. The meeting was the first of its kind in the state since the signing of the peace agreement in September.
Similar meetings had taken place in Raja, Wau, Yei River and Amadi states, among others. The steps are part of confidence building in the implementation of the peace agreement.