South Sudan opposition leaders initial final peace document

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) – South Sudan’s main opposition group, SPLM-IO led by Riek Machar and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) on Thursday initialled the final document of the revitalized peace agreement, stressing they did it after a commitment by Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir to raise their concern with IGAD leaders.

The draft final document was signed by Machar and Gabriel Changson Chang, SSOA leader, in presence of the director of the National Intelligence and Security Services Salah Gosh, Tut Kew Gatluak, South Sudan presidential adviser on security affairs, Lam Akol, head of the National Democratic Movement, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Wais Ismail .

In a joint statement released late Thursday, the SPLM-IO and SSOA confirmed that President al-Bashir held a meeting on Wednesday with Machar and pledged to discuss the matter in the upcoming meeting of the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) heads of state and government.

"After meetings with al-Bashir and the mediation, we have decided to initial the draft of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS)," said the two groups in a statement issued after the signing at the premises of the peace talks in Suba suburb outside Khartoum.

"However, we want to make it abundantly clear to the public that this initialling is conditional upon the assurance that the four concerns raised on 28 August 2018 be tabled for discussion by President al-Bashir in the forthcoming 64th extraordinary summit of the IGAD heads of state and government, as promised in the meeting," they said.

On Tuesday the SPLM-IO and SSOA enumerated in a statement the concerns that had led to the refusal to initial the draft agreement.
They have again on Thursday urged the mediation to resolve "these critical matters of contention for us to sign the final text of the R-ARCSS".

The opposition groups want the mediation to adjust the quorum of the cabinet and parliament meetings as it remained unchanged despite the increase of the members of government and legislative assembly.

They also pointed out the disagreement over the number of states and called to incorporate the Annex D, which includes a comprise providing that the referendum will ask the South Sudanese to choose between 10 or 32 states.

Their third point was that the permanent constitutional-making process should be people-driven. Also, they proposed that Ethiopia and Kenya join Sudan and Uganda as guarantors and deploy their forces within the UNMISS.

The SPLM-FD’s leader Pagan Amum rejected the signing of the draft agreement by Deng Alor the head of its negotiating team. Now it is not clear if the group will take part in the final signing ceremony.
-0- PANA AR 31Aug2018

31 Agosto 2018 07:14:00

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