Home | News    Thursday 14 January 2016

SPLM-IO denies renegotiation of peace agreement, government formation delayed

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January 14, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – The leadership of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), has dismissed as “untrue” government’s recent assertions that the parties to the August 2015 peace agreement have agreed to reopen up the peace deal for renegotiations in order to resolve a number of unimplemented outstanding issues.

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South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar, second left, looks across after shaking hands with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, center-right wearing a black hat, after lengthy peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 (Photo AP/Mulugeta Ayene)

On Tuesday, minister of information and broadcasting, Michael Makuei Lueth, who is the official spokesman of President Salva Kiir’s government, announced in Juba that the parties to the agreement, including the main armed opposition faction, SPLM-IO, under the leadership of former vice-president, Riek Machar, have agreed to resolve about 10 remaining outstanding issues through new dialogue.

Although Lueth did not enumerate the 10 outstanding issues, one of them he said is the 28 states which the government unilaterally created on 2 October, adding that they would be considered either for confirmation or revocation as a political decision.

Also, Festus Mogae, chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), said the parties agreed to reach a “consensus” outside the box over the 28 states and to also declare names of their respective nominees to the ministerial positions by Thursday and form a transitional government by 22 January.

But officials of the SPLM-IO have dismissed claims to renegotiate the peace agreement, saying there was no agreement to renegotiate the deal. The outstanding issues including the states, they said, will be implemented first in accordance with the peace agreement on the basis of the current 10 states before a transitional government of national unity can be formed.

“This is untrue. There will be no renegotiation. The agreement has provided for the current 10 states. And there are clear mechanisms in the peace agreement through which the parties will tackle creation of more states. These include whether the country’s governance system shall be based on federalism,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune when contacted on Thursday.

He said it will be through collective constitutional amendment or permanent constitution making process that the number of the current 10 states can be altered, but not to renegotiate the current provisions in the peace deal.

The SPLM-IO, he said, does not recognize the unilaterally created 28 states, which he said, is a clear attempt to violate the peace agreement.

He added that the parties in the constitution making process will agree on the number of future states in the country and the system of governance.

The opposition leader’s spokesman also said the parties have been discussing how to tackle positions of presidential advisers which the peace agreement is silent about and have no provision in the peace agreement.

GOVERNMENT FORMATION DELAYS

Dak also said a transitional government of national unity will not be formed until the outstanding issues including the constitutional amendments are resolved and the new transitional constitution is passed by a reconstituted or expanded national parliament in Juba.

He also reiterated that the leader of the SPLM-IO, Riek Machar, will not return to Juba to form the government with president Kiir until security arrangements are implemented. These include withdrawal of government forces from the national capital, Juba, and deployment of joint police and military forces in the capital.

“On what basis can the government be formed if the transitional constitution being amended is not passed by parliament? Also implementing the security arrangements is a prerequisite in the peace agreement?” he said.

He said the SPLM-IO leadership ruled out any possibility to form the transitional government by 22 January, saying the dateline was too soon given the delays in the constitutional amendment and implementation of the security arrangements which may take a number of weeks.

“I don’t think a transitional government will be formed by January 22. Given the current delays in the constitutional amendment and implementation of the security arrangements, it may take several more weeks before the government can be formed,” he added.

He blamed the government for the delays, including resisting incorporating some provisions of the agreement into the constitution, adding that the government may be formed during the month of February.

Dak said the leadership of the SPLM-IO is committed to speedy implementation of the peace deal, but said this should however be done in a “correct manner” in accordance with the agreement.

In accordance with the security arrangements in the peace agreement, the two rival national armies of government and SPLA-IO would deploy only a total of about 8,000 police and military forces in Juba. While the government is supposed to deploy about 5,000 police and military forces, the SPLA-IO will deploy about 3,000 in the capital.

However, government’s military sources revealed different opinions within its leadership as some top political and military officials including the chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, resist implementation of the security arrangements.

Additional police forces of 800, with 400 from each side in a state capital, will also be deployed in the states capitals of Bor, Bentiu, Malakal and other capitals and major towns which the parties are yet to agree upon.

The opposition leader’s spokesman also explained that the parties have not yet agreed on many locations of cantonment areas in which rival forces will be assembled across the country.

There will be two national armies of government’s SPLA and opposition’s SPLA-IO in South Sudan for a period of at least 18 months into the 30 months of transition before their unification into one national army.

Elections will be conducted at the end of the transitional period in which to elect a president and other executive and legislative officials.

The 21 months old war erupted on 15 December 2013 when internal differences within the ruling SPLM party over reforms and future of the party turned violent, killing tens of thousands, starting with massacres of members of the Nuer ethnic group in Juba in the first few days of the war.

Over 2.5 million people have been displaced internally and to the neighbouring countries of Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

The parties signed the agreement in August last year, brokered by the East African regional bloc, IGAD, to end the war, but its implementation has proven to be difficult.

(ST)

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  • 15 January 2016 03:50, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

    It’s a very absurd news fro Gadet Dak to create another tension. Why do you care of a single man more than 600 members of ur rebellion? You must cease inciting war now. You must learn fro ur rebel leader’s previous multiple failures. You’re known fro head to toe mr Dak.

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    • 15 January 2016 04:01, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      Do u know how governors & speakers will fight u b’se u r dismissing them off their duties for ur interests? U r just a good liar to peace. Don’t hide to say that u r for war. Nothing is new under the sun. The only bad thing is b’se u r not experiencing bitterness of ur warsome decisions.

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      • 15 January 2016 05:50, by Paul Chadrack

        that’s a very good disicion from SPLM IO, no to formation of government of national unity before bhar el gazels remove their so call 28 states. with oil prices going to $20 next week we will see how are they going to manage their corrupt regime.

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      • 15 January 2016 06:16, by Eastern

        Did you ask yourself why you dinkas came with your bogus 28 states after the ARCISS was signed? Who’s is putting obstacle to peace here? Dark is rightly expressing what his camp stand for: no renegotiation of the ARCISS. The international community will indeed come in to dismiss your useless 28 governors who don’t even have state budgets to begin with. See who’s stupid here?

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        • 15 January 2016 06:46, by Dinka-Defender-General

          Eastern, Dinka did not create 28 states. It was people. Citizens requested and president Kiir approved their desire. Some of your uncles or cousins vote for it during legislation approval. So stop asking questions and deal with it. Machar will never go to Juba or he will go April.

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      • 15 January 2016 09:13, by Thokidine

        @Shadrack, u are blindly blaming Gatdet for nothing, the signed peace is the only document that both the Gov’t and IO could follow as it stipulates all the provisions but all of a sudden Gov’t went breaching it.Gov’t has been too critical on the creation of more states during the negotiation but felt short of consulting Parliament leave the citizen he fought hard to contact and declare unilateral.

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        • 15 January 2016 15:55, by Mi diit

          Shadrack Nuer Machut,

          Is telling the truth a creation of tension and war? James Gatdet Dak is 100% right.

          Maybe it is you who feel good in violation the peace agreement with your evil 28 states because you have not yet felt the war in your backyard.

          You think Juba and Warrap will forever remain safe havens for you the violators.

          But watch out!

          repondre message

  • 15 January 2016 06:42, by Akuma

    Nothing to negotiated over the creation of 28 state, it is already done and seal of the republic. Those who are not happy with their states or fail to run theirs should ask for annexing to the nearest states other then calling for whole reversal of 28 states.

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