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IGAD invites nine S. Sudan opposition alliance members for consultations

June 6, 2018 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has invited nine members of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) for “an intensive interlinked consultation” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismael Wais (L) speaks during the closing session of Phase 2 on 23 May 2018 (IGAD photo)

The consultation, scheduled for 16-18 June, is a follow-up on what was agreed upon at the 62nd extraordinary session of the IGAD Council of Ministers meeting which approved the revised bridging proposal on the outstanding governance and security issues submitted by the facilitation team from IGAD.

The IGAD Council had reportedly also authorized one more round of intensive consultation with the parties to identify possible compromises and build consensus, thus instructed the special envoy to report on the outcome of this consultation to the regional body.

“lt therefore gives me great pleasure to request your excellency to nominate nine (9) delegates (one from each member of the alliance) to attend this consultation,” said Ismail Wais, the IGAD special envoy to South Sudan said in a 6 June, 2018 letter.

The letter further added, “I would also respectfully remind you to ensure that women are represented in your delegation”.

In March, nine South Sudanese opposition groups formed an alliance (SSOA) with the objective of expediting efforts to end the civil war.

SSOA comprises of Federal Democratic Party, National Salvation Front, National Democratic Movement, People’s Democratic Movement, South Sudan Liberation Movement, South Sudan National Movement for Change, South Sudan Patriotic Movement, South Sudan United Movement and United Democratic Alliance.

The group, in an earlier, claimed they were driven by the desire to improve the situation in the war-torn nation and prevent it from disintegrating.

Last month, the rival parties involved in South Sudan’s peace talks concluded the Second Phase of the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) without striking a deal on the implementation of the governance and security arrangements.

Tens of thousands pf people have been killed in fighting between troops loyal to Kiir and forces led by his former deputy Riek Machar since 2013. The conflict has also left a quarter of South Sudan’s population of 12 million, either internally displaced or as refugees in neighbouring countries.

(ST)