Ex-army chief ‘ready’ for IGAD meeting, urges ‘renegotiation’ of agreement
March 6th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s former army chief, turned rebel leader, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, has accepted a regional invitation for a consultative meeting with the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Amb. Ismail Wais, but reiterated its call for reopening of the revitalized peace agreement for renegotiation.
South Sudan government and opposition groups signed a peace agreement in September last year to end the ongoing civil war in the world’s youngest nation. Malong is not a signatory to this agreement which was signed by the government, SPLM-IO, South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), Former Detainees (FDs) and Other Opposition Parties.
Last year, Malong said his request to join the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) which preceded the peace negotiations in Khartoum was rejected by the regional mediation on the request of the South Sudan government.
In a open letter he addressed on Wednesday to the IGAD special envoy for South Sudan, Malong said his group have accepted to attend the meeting reiterating his commitment to the return of South Sudan to peace.
“The South Sudan United Front /Army (SSUF/A) in their National Executive Council meeting held on March 5, 2019, reaffirms its readiness and commitment for the meeting in question on the date and the venue as requested by your esteemed office.
He further reiterated his group’s “strong commitment to return harmony in the Republic of South Sudan” pointing to the none-violence role his group has adopted since its formation saying this was “to give dialogue a chance as a fundamental mechanism to settle the unrest [while] bearing in mind that violence is the last resort.”
He further called for the renegotiation of the revitalized peace agreement signed last September by Kiir, Machar and other opposition groups in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa following months of talks in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
“The movement strongly believes and would like to reiterate its urge directed at the IGAD to reopen the Revitalized Peace Agreement to meet overall grievances of the insurgents,” he said adding: “This is strongly believed will save the country form unavoidable wars that have subjected our people unnecessary suffering.”