March 28, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) - The South Sudanese government and the South Sudan Democratic Movement – Cobra Faction (SSDM-Cobra faction) of David Yau Yau initialled a peace deal on Friday ending a 4 year rebellion in Jongeli state.
- Top rebel negotiator Boutros Khalid (L) shakes hands with the head of government negotiating team, Canon Clement Janda, after the signing of a peace deal in Addis Ababa on 28 March 2014 (Photo ST)
In accordance with the draft peace agreement brokered by the South Sudanese church a special territorial administration called Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) will be established in Pibor enabling the Murle ethnic group to manage the pasture and water sources in the region.
The government chief negotiator, Canon Clement Janda, said the Administrative Area will be based on the principle of decentralisation of government in the country.
He further said the National Legislature shall determine legal position of the area and ensure proper implementation of the agreement.
The Greater Pibor Administrative Area shall be governed by a Chief Administrator whose status will be equal to that of a state governor.
The rebels initially demanded a the creation of a new state in the largest and most populous state in South Sudan, where different pastoral groups belonging to different tribes share the same territory.
The top rebel negotiator Lt. Gen. Boutros Khalid told Sudan tribune that his group is committed to the peace agreement with the government.
The deal reached under the auspices of the South Sudanese Church Leaders Mediation Initiative (CLMI) ends the latest among a series of conflicts caused by the general elections of 2010 before the independence of South Sudan.
After April 2010 election, South Sudan witnessed the emergence of several small rebel groups including George Athur, David Yau Yau both in Jonglei state, Gatluak Gai in Unity, and Shilluk commanders Johnson Olony and Alyuak Ogot in Upper Nile.
The deputy head of the South Sudanese government delegation to the peace process, Lawrence Korbandy, said six counties will be established in the Greater Pibor Administration Area.
Speaking to Sudan tribune; Korbandy underlined that this territorial process will be implemented through consultations with existing administrative entities (Payams or Bomas) with the view to upgrading them into full county administration.
He further said that the initialled agreement will be pending for approval by the rebel leader and relevant authority in Juba.
The agreement provides to create a development fund for the new entity annexed directly to the presidency. Also, the parties agreed to implement a set of security arrangements through a technical committee s yet to be formed by both parties.
The deal also includes a power sharing chapter providing to increase Murle representation in the national parliament. Until the organization of the elections and the creation of new electoral constituencies the president shall appoint a number of GPAA citizens in the legislative assembly.
Also, in line with the peace agreement, the government will appoint some members of the former rebel group as presidential advisers, ministers, deputy ministers, chairpersons, members of specialised institutions and commissions, and ambassadors and diplomats.