May 23, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s main armed opposition, the SPLM/SPLA, under the leadership of the country’s First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has categorically rejected the recently released IGAD pack of power sharing arrangement.
After studying, analysis and listening to all warring parties, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development[IGAD], presents its power sharing proposal that allots 60% of power to Mr. Kiir and his allied opposition – a proposal that seems to have shattered hopes of a possible peace deal in the nearest future.
The proposal that was expected to bridge differences between the warring parties has left more rift and bitterness as other parties are accusing IGAD of taking the side of Salva Kiir and endorsing dictatorship in the world’s youngest nation.
“The IGAD “A BRIDGING PROPOSAL”, is an endorsement of the status quo which emerged in Juba after the collapse of the ARCISS. The IGAD Proposal further rewards the regime in Juba for their intransigence throughout the peace process and for their well-documented role in precipitating the collapse of the ARCISS in July, 2016.” Said Mabior Garang de Mabior, the SPLM National Committee Chairman for Information and Public Relations.
The oppositions believe that this IGAD Proposal was prepared based on Mr. Kiir’s recent statement which calls on his delegation not to sign any power sharing arrangement that gives Juba less than 60%.
Reacting to IGAD’s proposal, Mabior calls on South Sudanese and friends to remain calm assuring that his side won’t sign a bad peace proposal again that endorses dictatorship and encourages war in South Sudan.
“The leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) would like to inform our members and the people of South Sudan at large that we have categorically rejected the IGAD “A BRIDGING PROPOSAL”” Mabior declares.
“your Movement shall not betray the people’s struggle for positions and the trappings of power. We call on our members to make their views known to the leadership through our popular structures.” Said Mabior, a former Minister of Transitional Government of National Unity.
The main armed opposition, which claims to operate in all parts of South Sudan and abroad, said the 2015 peace agreement has collapsed and therefore what IGAD should do is to resuscitate the dead peace pack based on current realities on the ground.
“The contention of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) is that the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) collapsed in July, 2016 and the concept of “Bridging” in not consistent with the current realities in South Sudan. This is the very reason the ARCISS is being revitalized.” Mabior continued.
“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) does not believe that simply distributing positions will resolve the conflict, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) objective is to effect fundamental change in our country.” the SPLM/A reiterates.
The SPLM/SPLA (IO) negotiating team, headed by Henrey Odwar, said they have deliberated on the IGAD Bridging Proposal and they have submitted their reaction to the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers in writing.
Despite accusing IGAD of endorsing Kiir’s leadership, SPLM/A [IO] remains committed to IGAD led peace process as the best alternative to restore peace and stability in South Sudan.
“The leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) encourage our members and the people of South Sudan at large to remain hopeful in the peace process” Read part of SPLM/A[IO] statement.
“SPLM/SPLA (IO) shall continue to articulates our position as presented to IGAD Mediation during the consultation on May 11 and 12 and shall also continue to negotiate in good faith to bring sustainable peace to the people of South Sudan.” Mabior added.
Assurance to Fight On
Despite having sign a cessation of hostilities agreements in the past, SPLA [IO] assures IGAD, international community and members that their army will continue to fight on in self-defense should other warring parties provoke them to do so.
“However, in light of the government’s continued violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoH) and massacring of innocent civilians, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) reserves the natural right of self-defense.” Mabior said.
Kiir Wants Machar Not To Return To Juba
While blessing his delegation to go and negotiate peace in good faith, President Salva Kiir warned his huge delegation, comprising of 43 politicians, not to sign any peace agreement that will return Dr. Riek Machar Teny, his former Vice President and his sworn rival to the capital, Juba.
Mr. Kiir has expressed controversial statements in the past 4 weeks against Machar leaving doubts if the president is in sound mind.
Four weeks ago, Mr. Kiir regrets not having kill Machar in July 2016 when he invited him to the palace where most of his bodyguards were killed in a 4-hours long dogfight that killed Machar’s son and other relatives in his protection unit.
A week later, while addressing the SPLM Liberation Council, attended by many members of the international community, President Kiir pledged to have forgiven Machar and wanted him back to be protected by the Regional Protection Force[RPF] and work with him to restore peace and stability.
Two weeks later, Mr. Kiir declares that he does not intent to work with Machar any more and if he returns he should return as a “private citizen”.
Despite the provocation and continuation of war in South Sudan, IGAD has remain reluctant to impose implementation mechanism or resuscitation of the peace agreement they imposed in 2015.
The parties have rejected IGAD power sharing proposal and the talks have ended without significant progress.