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South Sudan opposition groups reject governance deal, citing poor ratios and referendum

July 25, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and the SPLM Leaders (FDs) rejected the agreement on the outstanding issues of governance pointing to their small ratios in the power-sharing, and the choice of a contested referendum to settle the difference over the 32 states.

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Former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum (AFP/Getty)

The South Sudan United Movement (SSUM) of Peter Gatdet Yak was the only faction of the SSOA to initial the agreement.

The two political opposition groups in two separate statements expressed similar concerns on their representation at the national and regional transitional institutions as many of them also claim representing minority ethnic groups even if the SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO include many people from their tribes.

The SSOA spoke about "inconsistency in the responsibility sharing formulae" in the deal while the FDs stressed the "serious lack of consistency in allocating power-sharing ratios at all levels of governance".

Further, the two statements sought extensively to explain that a referendum to settle the issues of the 32 states was not a viable solution and thus it was a trick to legalize what is a violation of the 2015 peace agreement.

According to the FDs, the referendum "is a ploy to entrench the 32 States" because you cannot hold a credible popular consultation within this time frame and a transitional government controlled by President Kiir who imposed this new territorial administration.

For its part, the SSOA in case of disagreement over the state numbers, the solution is to return to the 10 states as it is provided in the decision of the 55th Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30-31 January 2016.

Also, the FDs contested a general disposition in the agreement saying that the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) shall be formed as follows by the President of the Republic of South Sudan within two weeks of signing the Revitalized peace agreement.

For the opposition group, the NPTC should be set up by IGAD in consultation with the parties and its composition shall include IGAD.

The SSOA and the SDs admitted the progress achieved in Khartoum and reiterated their commitment to the process. Also, the Sudanese foreign minister and chief mediator said they would continue their efforts to bring the holdout groups to sign the agreement on 5 August.

The SSOA include the Federal Democratic Party (FDP) led by Gabriel Changsong Chang, the National Salvation Front (NAS), headed by Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the National Democratic Movement (NDM) chaired by Lam Akol, the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) headed by Hakim Dario Moi, the SPLM-FDs, the SSLM/A of Bapiny Monytuil, the National Movement for Change (SSNMC) led by Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, the South Sudan Patriotic Movement (SSPM) of Costello Garang Ring and South Sudan United Movement (SSUM) of Peter Gatdet Yak and the United Democratic Alliance UDRA.

(ST)