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South Sudan’s opposition alliance rejects IGAD Revised Bridging Proposal

Intensive Interlink Consultations meeting in Addis Ababa on 16-18 June 2018 (ST Photo)
June 19, 2018 (JUBA) - The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) has rejected the IGAD Revised Bridging Proposal to end the four-and-half year conflict in the country, saying it avoided considering crucial outstanding issues.

On Monday, the IGAD mediation closed the Intensive Interlinked Consultations (IICs) and decided to refer the outstanding issues in the power-sharing chapter to the IGAD Council of Ministers to resolve and then submit it to the IGAD head of states and governments summit on Thursday 21 June.

In parallel, the regional block counts on a meeting on Wednesday between President Riek Machar and his main rival Riek Machar to reach a compromise on three disputed issues: the composition of the government, le parliament, and the state governments.

Feeling that they are marginalized in the process, the SSOA said concerned about the way outstanding issues were "glossed over" by the mediation; stressing that their positions were not considered in all the mediation’s proposals for the resolution of issues pertaining to Governance and security arrangements.

The opposition alliance further exposed their different positions for a lean government, de-concentration of powers of the President, technocrats’ government during the Transitional Period, restoration of the ten (10) States, and devolving power and the requisite resources to the States and Local governments.

The alliance stressed that their propositions are the prerequisites for a sustainable peace and rejected the Revised Bridging Proposal which takes into consideration only the government’s positions.

"We shall never be part of a deal that carries the seeds of its own failure because that failure costs lives, resources and disrupting social fabric. Only a transparent and inclusive negotiated agreement can deliver a sustainable peace to South Sudan," said the SSOA in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

The mediation says the purpose of the final IICs meeting was to "to identify possible compromises and build consensus on the bridging proposal”.

Government spokesperson Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the outstanding issues would be discussed in the face-to-face meeting between Kiir and Machar on Wednesday.

Following what and based on its outcome the IGAD Council of Minister will formulate a position that to be referred to the heads of state and government for consideration.

However, the SSOA called on the "IGAD Summit of heads of State and Government to ensure that the root causes of the problems are addressed in order to achieve a just and sustainable peace".