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S. Sudan NAS pledges to not ink deal without federal system

August 3, 2018 (WAU) – The South Sudan’s opposition National Salvation Front (NAS) leader Thomas Cirillo Swaka said his groups will not ink any governance deal that does not establish a federal system.

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Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka, the ex-SPLA deputy chief of general staff for training (youtube photo)

In a statement he released on Thursday, Swaka said the establishment of a strong federal system has been the target of his group and its allied forces in the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) rather than the current governing system which dragged the nation into war.

"Unfortunately, the current governance proposal prioritizes power-sharing over devolution of powers, strengthens and further entrenches the current rotten system in Juba rather than transforming it and defers the question of federalism to a permanent constitution-making process that the parties cannot guarantee when this will eventually happen," he said.

"I thought it fit to inform you in advance," he emphasized.

On Friday the opposition alliance and the SPLM-FDs issued a joint statement rejecting the deal after several days of discussions with the mediation.

The opposition alliance seemingly is under pressure to join the deal but the IGAD countries say they would not wave the sanctions threat to force them to sign the agreement, as talks will continue with another round in Nairobi.

The Issue of federalism was one of the major reforms for which several SPLM leaders engaged in a power struggle with President Kiir in 2013 before the eruption of hostilities by the end of that year.

South Sudanese groups particularly, the Equatorians, demand the federal system saying it would protect them from the hegemony of the dominant ethnic group of President Kiir.