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Another opposition group splits as South Sudan peace talks resume in Khartoum


August 25, 20187 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - The South Sudan Patriotic Movement/Army (SSPM) a faction of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) has been hit by a split on Saturday when its military commander announced the eviction of its leader accusing him of obstructing peace.

This is the second group member of the opposition alliance to suffer a split after the National Salvation Front.

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Costello Garang Ring (ST Photo)

Negotiating delegations which have resumed talks in Khartoum to finalize bracketed issues and the implementation matrix have been surprised with a statement by the SSPA Chief of Staff, General Agany Abdelbagi Akol announcing the removal of SSPM Chairman Costello Garang Ring Lual who is also the Commander in Chief of the armed group.

Abdelbagi Akol made public a statement entitled Mabio Dotbaai Declaration dated on 13 August where he accuses Ring Lual of rejecting the ongoing peace process and "ordering the SSPA forces to fight, kill and displace communities at the border with the Sudan"

Accordingly, the statement said the group’s leadership decided to dismiss him, to appoint Abdelbagi Akol as an interim chairman and restructuring its negotiating team in Khartoum.

This is the second time that a split occurs in one of the SSOA factions.

Earlier this month, a group of National Salvation Front (NAS) officers led by Maj. Gen. Julius Tabuley announced the sack of the group leader Thomas Cirillo Swaka accusing him of rejecting the governance agreement without prior consultation with the group’s leadership.

But he denied their claim and sacked six leading members of his group after accusing them of "subversive activities" to overthrow him.


In a swift reaction to the statement of General Abdelbagi Akol, Costello Garang denied the accusations of obstructing the peace talks and reaffirmed the " unquestionable and unshaken" unity of the group saying Abdelbagi Akol "has no authority to remove him.

He went further to say that the presence of General Abdelbagi Akol at the venue of the peace talks in Khartoum to lead the group’s negotiating team " indicates our strong commitment to a peaceful solution of the conflict".

"Those using the Peace Forum to divide political entities by using financial means and bribes are not peace lovers. Truth and straightforwardness is the shortest cut to peace. Our commitment to it keep us steadfast," he further said.

Costello Garang Ring Lual is a South Sudanese politician from Aweil in Bahr el-Ghazal, which is part of the present Lol State. He is the son of a leading Dinka traditional leader the late Executive Paramount Chief of Greater Ayat, Ring Lual Dau.

Ring Lual who was among the few Dinka to stand against Garang and back the Nasser faction in 1991, refused to side Riek Machar this time and announced that "Kiir has outlived his usefulness and must leave his office in order to facilitate a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The SSOA has rejected the idea of holding a referendum to settle the difference over the contested 32 states.


On Saturday, the South Sudanese delegations resumed the peace revitalization forum in Khartoum after the Eid al-Adha break.

The number of states was the first issue to be discussed. Also, the talks which resumed in the afternoon tackled the role and functions of the Frist Vice President, the creation of new five ministers, the NCR and preparatory commission for the national constitutional conference.

However, none of the parties spoke about the progress made in the discussion which continued late during the night.

Just, the government spokesperson Michael Makuei confirmed the resumption of the final phase without details.

The mediators plan to conclude the talks on the bracketed issues on the 27 August and to launch discussions on the implementation matrix until the 30 August.

From 31 August to 2 September, talks will be on the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements (PCTSA) .

Following the initialling of the PCTSA outcome, the talks would be closed and the IGAD will organize the final signing ceremony.


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  • 26 August 11:29, by Kush Natives

    Come home all, peace has come. Don’t come back fighting for positions, we’re just now fixing such scenarios in Khartoum, so that everyone in an opposition accommodated or given a position. Instead of coming home scatred. We will give everyone a seat. South Sudan must be great again!

    repondre message

  • 26 August 11:43, by Eastern

    I don’t care if the ’split’ is within the Dinka or the Nuer, for the two warlike tribes are two faces of the same coin......!

    repondre message

  • 26 August 12:35, by Joseph Canada

    What’s wrong with this two tribes? Must everyone be a leader? God!! Food loving is real man. I don’t think these people will ever be satisfied with their lives unless they lead by force. Hi his is a he reason I support the three regionalism and Federalism so that if they mess up in the upper Nile at least the two regions are ok vice-verser.

    repondre message

    • 26 August 15:23, by Kush Natives

      Eastern £ Joseph Canada,
      NAS started last few weeks ago with Thomas Cirilo, did it concerns Nuer or Dinka? Monkey will remain a monkey, your hatred towards those two particular tribes Chronicly in your brainless cell. And by the way, start writing a book now, so that the next Equatorian generations can study about Equatoria. We will remain in Juba for life! Next....

      repondre message

  • 26 August 19:14, by Mayendit

    The rebels groups are running after money, some rebels sees the arrangement is going to be too long to get in the system of the government therefore, they thought about making short cut in order to get pay before that long arrangement due. Very soon such a moved from other rebels may happen to Riek Machar if he is still afraid to come to Juba. Some generals from Eastern Nuer will do that.

    repondre message

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