October 25, 2016 (JUBA) – Leader of a breakaway group from the armed opposition faction of the SPLM-IO, Gabriel Changson Chang, said he supported the call by the representatives of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Troika (United States, United Kingdom and Norway) and European Union (EU) to initiate a dialogue between opposition parties and the government in Juba to revive the 2015 peace agreement.
- Gabriel Changson Chang (file/ST)
Chang who is the chairman of the Federal Democratic Party and South Sudan Armed Forces (FDP/SSAF) said the ongoing conflict should be resoved through a political process rather than through armed struggle, adding that the “political process must be inclusive of all parties, communities, factions and voices of South Sudanese.”
He however said in order to avoid resort to armed resistance as a last option and instead initiate a political dialogue, the government of the day must be committed to peace.
“In conflict resolutions, political solutions always take center stage if the sitting government is genuinely committed to peaceful settlement of the crisis. On the other hand, violence and armed struggle come to play when peaceful political solution is frustrated by government unwillingness to dialogue the aggrieved parties,” Chang said in a press statement he issued on Tuesday and extended to Sudan Tribune.
“The FDP/SSAF is alarmed and concerned about the huge loss of life and material destruction the war is inflicting on the Republic of South Sudan and its people. To this effect no sensible political leaders can ignore such a call for peace in the war torn South Sudan. Therefore, the Leadership of FDP/SSAF welcomes the JMEC’s partners & TGONU call for a genuine political dialogue to settle the ongoing conflict in the country,” he said.
Chang, who resides in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, defected from the SPLM-IO led by former First Vice President, Riek Machar in 2015. He then formed his own faction, but split further again in months and he was left without military or political leaderships with him.
An attempt last year to reach a peace deal with President Kiir’s government failed when his army commanders secretly struck an inferior deal with the government and returned to Juba, leaving him behind.