- Lam Akol, chairman of South Sudan’s main opposition party (AFP/Samir Bol Photo)
August 1, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – Leader of the South Sudan’s National Alliance parties and chairman of the Democratic Party (DC), Lam Akol Ajawin, said he has resigned from all his party and government positions to protest government’s lack of commitment to the peace agreement.
Akol said the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) is “dead” and will, from now on, join with the “like-minded” to “broaden” an opposition “outside Juba” to tackle the ongoing situation in the country.
“This is to inform the public that I have on the 28th of July tendered my resignation to the National Alliance as Minister of Agriculture and Food Security in the Transitional Government of National Unity (TgoNU) and also as their representative in the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC),” said Ajawin in a press statement he issued on Monday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
He was nominated to the positions by the alliance of 17 political parties in the country.
“These positions were necessitated by the implementation of the Agreement for Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan signed in August 2015. There is no more a peace agreement to implement in Juba. President Salva Kiir has dealt it a final blow with his actions since the first week of jolly culminating in the military attack on the first vice president, dislodging him from Juba and invoking his absence to fill his position with a person of his choice in the name of SPLM-IO. One cannot with a clear conscience serve under such a regime,” he said.
He said he could no longer work with the party of president Kiir in the unity government, charging that President Kiir and his acolytes did not hide their rejections of peace agreement.
“He has been putting obstacle after obstacle on the way of its implementation and violating it with impunity. He cited creation of 28 states, refusing to implement security arrangements, stalling reconstitution of the transitional legislative assembly, preventing the ceasefire and transitional security arrangement monitoring mechanism from carrying out its duty to observe and report on ceasefire violation,” he added.
The opposition leader accused President Salva Kiir of abrogating the August 2015 peace deal, adding that appointing Taban Deng Gai to replace Riek Machar, leader of the armed oppositon faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), was meant to destroy the peace accord.
“The violent events that took place in Juba in the first week of July were pre-meditated and well planned. The SPLM-IO’s small force was provoked into an uneven confrontation,” he said.
“While Kiir’s forces hunt for Dr. Riek Machar to get him “dead or alive” they should be reminded that that will not be the end of the story. The genie is out of the bottle and the last laugh will not be theirs. The people of South Sudan will not stand more of a callous, totalitarian and ethno-centric regime that seems to thrive on the suffering of its people,” he added, with the statement he signed as “former” chairman of the DC party.
It is not clear whether or not the leader of the country’s largest non-armed opposition party will forge an opposition alliance with the Machar against President Kiir.