October 1, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, has called on the parties to the conflict to work together in the full implementation of the peace agreement signed in August between president Salva Kiir and armed opposition leader, Riek Machar and vowed that he will never again call ‘rebels” the opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) as a good gesture of political will to unite the people.
- South Sudanese information minister Michael Makuei Lueth attends a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 5 January 2014 (Photo: AP/Elias Asmara)
Lueth however said the implementation of the deal has run behind the schedule and urged the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to constitute necessary bodies and facilitate the process of implementing the agreement.
Speaking at a national breakfast prayer organized by national members of parliament, Lueth said the National Constitution Amendment Committee (NCAC) and joint military command should have been operationalized if IGAD and SPLM-IO followed government’s quick implementation steps.
“This (NCAC) should have sat and accomplish its task in twenty one days from the day of signature. Now it means we are behind schedule and it is IGAD that is supposed to constitute this body after receiving the nominees from the stakeholders,” he said.
“Up to this moment, the NCAC did not sit. It is not yet constituted. I hope that it will not be said again that the parties are in violation,” he said, referring to blames for violation of ceasefire that has been put on both the government and SPLM-IO.
According to the peace agreement, the NCAC will draft the constitutional amendment bill to incorporate the peace deal into the national constitution by parliament. Lueth said president Kiir formed government’s NCAC as well as members of the joint military command. The opposition has also done so.
He said both government and opposition should work together to end the war.
“We are under duty because we are the instrument of peace. So let us come together, unite our ranks, forgive ourselves and work for peace in our country so that our people can live in peace and harmony,” he said, announcing that he will not use the word “rebels” to describe the SPLM-IO as a gesture of government seriousness to implement the agreement.
The opposition leader, Machar, has become the first vice-president designate in accordance with the power sharing provision of the deal. He will be the most powerful first vice president in the history of the country, according to the powers entrusted to his office by the agreement.