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SPLM-IO threatens to pull out of peace implementation

Dr. Riek, flanked by President Kiir, speaking to the media following their face-to-face meeting in Juba yesterday (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

November 7th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, led by the country’s exiled First Vice President designate Dr. Riek Machar has threatened to pull out of peace implementation if the government in Juba continue to violate the agreement.

The SPLM-IO, along with several other opposition groups, signed a revitalized version of a 2015 peace agreement with the government in Addis Ababa more than a year ago.

The agreement provided for the establishment of one national army, one police force and a unified national security service. To do these, the parties – notably the SPLM-IO and the government – must first assemble their forces in “cantonment” sites where they will register before unification.

Further, the agreement also provided for the formation of a “Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU)” in which Kiir and Machar would lead a 36-month transitional period leading up to a “free and fair” elections.

“The SPLM/A (IO) will never back down from implementation of the agreement in letter and spirit. It is the only hope for the people of South Sudan,” the group’s governor of Imatong state, Nathaniel Pierino, told the Nyamilepedia on Wednesday after asked if reports that Machar was abandoning his position on government formation.

Kiir threatened in September that he will form the unity government without Machar on November 12th if the later don’t cooperate on the matter. Machar for his part threatened to opt out of the unity government unless important provisions are implemented.

Pierino further threatened that if the government continue to violate the agreement, then the main armed opposition group will have no choice other than pulling out of the peace process and freezing the cantonment process.

“If the government pursue the logic of violating the agreement, SPLM/A-IO will have no option but to pull out of any sham implementation,” he said.

“We shall freeze the cantonment exercise,” he added vowing that the group “will not allow Kiir to get away with any violations.”

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