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Wau state governor in talks with armed groups to end hostilities

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September 19, 2016 (JUBA) - Governor of the newly created Wau state in South Sudan said his administration has assembled a committee to hold direct negotiation with armed opposition groups in the area.

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Wau state governor Andrea Mayar Acho (ST Photo)

Governor Andrea Mayar Achor has revealed that the initiative has the approval of President Salva Kiir and prominent community leaders in the state, adding his mission is to ensure peace returns to the state.

“There is no reason to fight this unnecessary war when we can sit down as brothers and sisters and discuss our issues peacefully. The president has approved dialogue with brothers and sisters who have taken up arms. We want to hear from them what they want. These talks are progressing well,” Achor told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

Religious leaders and community leaders are playing a very important role, he said, adding “They are leading in these talks. We really want this unnecessary fighting to stop.”.

The agreement, if reached, will allow armed groups, some allied to former First Vice President, Riek Machar, to begin mobilizing themselves to designated assembling points scattered across the state and be given up to 90 days during which they are expected to begin handing their weapons over to United Nations-sponsored monitors.

But the still-unknown final accord may contain surprises and the opposition is likely to try to convert the deal into a referendum on Achor, whose popularity rating in the area continues to be a dividing subject.

His supporters, majority of whom comes from his ethnic Luo particularly in his home area in Udici region, located northwest of Wau town, the administrative headquarters of the new state, however sees him as a peace loving person.

A significant portion of politicians from ethnic Dinka in the state also stands with him. But his critics from the east of the state, home to his predecessor, see him as a remote controlled governor by members of the ethnic Dinka holding powerful positions in government.

(ST)

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