South Sudanese security officers arrested 16 members of an advance rebel team in the capital, a spokesman said, about a week before the insurgents’ leader, Riek Machar, is due to return to the city.
The men were seized Tuesday while gathering to welcome a deputy rebel chairman to Juba, spokesman William Ezekiel said by phone from the city.
Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said the 16 were arrested for moving around Juba without coordinating with security personnel. They are being questioned and may be charged if suspected of wrongdoing, he said by phone.
Machar has said he’ll travel to the city on April 18 to assume the role of vice president in a transitional government led by President Salva Kiir. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 2 million have been displaced since conflict erupted in the oil-producing nation in December 2013.