IGAD mediation team met rival SSOA factions last month – officials

IGAD logo (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

March 7th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A regional team delegated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Develoment (IGAD) met last month with rival factions of the fractured South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), two opposition officials told the Nyamilepedia on Wednesday.

In November last year, an election conducted in the Sudanese capital Khartoum led to split within the SSOA after five of eight representatives from the groups that make up the SSOA elected Gatdet to succeed Changson as leader of the alliance.

Changson who reportedly accepted the results at first later abruptly changed his mind and decided to cancel the results saying it was not conducted based on the SSOA charters which provides for leadership transfer every six months.

Gatdet who has since considered himself a de facto leader of the opposition umbrella reportedly wrote to the regional body to rein so as to prevent the group sliding into chaos that may jeopardize the peace agreement signed last year.

On Tuesday, the IGAD special envoy for South Sudan, Amb. Ismail Wais, wrote to the de facto SSOA Chairman Changson Lew asking him for procedures governing the elections in the opposition alliance to solve a dispute over leadership in the group.

Speaking to the Nyamilepedia on Wednesday, David Lawrence Lual, a senior member of the NDM led by Lam Akol and a member of the SSOA which is allied to Gen. Peter Gatdet, said a IGAD team had made the two team over the split which threatens the SSOA unity and the peace agreement.

“A IGAD team approached the leaders of both factions for facts finding and everyone gave their own account or different versions of what happened,” he said.  “For us we cited the the SSOA charter and it’s regulations as our legal binding ground and hence claiming the right legitimacy.”

With them citing teh SSOA Charter, Lual said the IGAD requested Changson to serve it with a copy of the document guiding elections with in the alliance saying Changson was the one who rejected what he said was a democratic process.

“It’s only Changson and co. who challenged the process of not being done in accordance to the provisions of the Charter. Therefore to resolve the issue, it need to have a legal binding, hence there was need for the special envoy to request for the basic document governing this body called SSOA,” he added.

Another source told the Nyamilepedia this afternoon that a “team from the IGAD envoy met SSOA faction led by Gatdet in the Sudanese capital Khartoum last month while the special envoy himselve met Changson in Juba.”