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Machar’s SPLM-IO welcomes Troika statement regarding gov’t formation in November

South Sudan’s First Vice-President designate Dr. Riek Machar Teny gesture as he arrive at Juba International Airport on Monday (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 24th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, has welcomed a statement by the Troika (US, UK and Norway) in which the powerful nations demanded the expedition of the implementation of the remaining pre-transitional tasks.

Opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar on Sunday rejected a call to form unity government in November saying outstanding issues must first be implemented so that a stable transitional government is ensure so that a scenario of 2016 do not repeat itself.

A top UN diplomat on Monday said in a statement that the world body can provide extra troops to protect Machar, something the main armed opposition group said was the issue Machar said he wouldn’t participate in the government formation.

“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) would like to make it categorically clear that – contrary to the propaganda machine of the regime and her intellectual mercenaries – the movement is not for the implementation of security arrangements for fear of the safety of Dr. Riek Machar,” the statement signed by the group’s chairperson if information committee and spooesman, Mabior Garang said.

“We call on the public to dismiss these malicious rumors. The Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) has gone to Juba several times for face-to-face meetings with President Salva Kiir without security arrangements, that is not the point. The leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) is calling for a six-month extension to the pre-interim period, because the implementation of the security arrangements is paramount to the successful implementation of the rest of the reform agenda of the Agreement,” the statement added.

The statement welcomed last week’s statement of the Troika saying: “In this vein, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) welcomes the statement of the Troika, of October 18 2019, issued through the United States (US) Embassy in South Sudan, regarding the resolution of the outstanding issues and the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU).”

“The movement would; however, like to bring it to the attention of the Troika and the international community at large, that the impetus for the success of the peace process lies mostly with the incumbent. If the regime is intransigent, then the peace process cannot move.

“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) is not making any demands outside of what has already been agreed and signed by all the stakeholders. The security arrangements are part of the provisions of the Agreement and the issue of the states and their boundaries was resolved by the South Sudan Independent Boundaries Commission.

“To call these outstanding issues is simply mischief! A new government should not be formed while the old structures are still in place, in particular the security organs which precipitated the conflict – not once, but twice. It is impractical for the government to be formed before the implementation of the security arrangements.

“After the expiry of the pre-interim period on November12, we would have two armies and in essence return to the status quo ante July 2016. This is why the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO), is willing to consider an extension of the pre-interim period, for the sake of a just and honorable peace.

“The security arrangements were not negotiated to provide bodyguards for politicians, it was in point of fact to provide a secure environment for the implementation of the radical reforms contained in the Agreement. This is Chapter II. Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements. It is an entire chapter of the Agreement and it provides for a total overhaul of the security sector.

“The citizens of South Sudan who are displaced in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) and refugee camps in neighboring countries, cannot be expected to return to their homes when the same security apparatus which displaced them is still marauding through their villages. This was tried in 2016 and despite the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU), our people did not repatriate to their villages.

“The total overhaul of the security sector is not the training of a few body guards. The security arrangements will ensure that our organized forces – the army, police, prisons, fire brigade and wild life services- are transformed to reflect the national diversity of South Sudan.

“The National Security Service is currently operating in violation of their constitutional mandate – which is to be an analytical body – and have instead become a law enforcement organization equipped with all sorts of weapons, including tanks. This is not the job of a national security agency; their job is to analyze threats to national security and advise the organized forces accordingly.

“In addition, the salaries of our organized forces hardly reach them and they are paid only twice in one year, which exacerbates an already volatile security situation in the country.”

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