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South Sudan armed opposition holds conference over peace agreement

November 4, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s armed opposition faction led by the first vice president designate, Riek Machar, will hold a conference beginning on Thursday in its general headquarters, Pagak, near the Ethiopian border, a media official has confirmed.

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SPLM in Opposition leader Riek Machar Teny and his deputy, General Afred Ladu Gore, in Pagak on 9 December 2014 (ST)

According to James Gatdet Dak, official spokesman of the opposition leader, the conference brings together political and military leaderships of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA).

“Yes, the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) has called for the conference in Pagak, the general headquarters. Political and military leaderships will take part in the conference,” James Gatdet Dak, spokesman for the SPLM-IO leader told Sudan Tribune when contacted from Pagak on Wednesday.

He said representatives of the movement from abroad and leaders of the civil society organizations will also take part.

It will be the first conference organized by the SPLM-IO leadership since the signing of the peace agreement in August.

The meeting, which has brought together over 500 delegates, will take place two days after the opposition faction signed a security arrangement document with president Salva Kiir’s government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The security deal struck an understanding on the sizes and compositions of joint military, police and national security forces to be deployed in the capital, Juba, and other state capitals, including Bor, Malakal and Bentiu.

Dak said the top leadership will brief the national liberation council (NLC) and the military command council (MCC) on the steps taken in the implementation of the peace agreement and further inform on progress made and discuss obstacles faced in the implementation of the peace deal as well as the forward.

He said the meeting also aims at informing on steps that need to be taken towards implementation of the peace agreement and discussing general preparations ahead of formation of the would-be government of national unity in Juba by December.

He said the opposition faction had committed itself to the full implementation of the peace agreement.

(ST)