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Another opposition group distances itself from South Sudan Governance deal

August 6, 2018 (JUBA) - The National Salvation Front (NAS) which is part of the opposition umbrella South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) Monday distanced itself from the agreement on outstanding issues of governance.

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Thomas Cirillo Swaka (Photo Reuters)

SSOA leader Gabriel Changson Chang and SPLM-FDs leading member Deng Alor on Sunday signed the governance deal with President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar after a meeting with the IGAD leaders where they were informed that the talks will continue in Khartoum and they can continue to discuss their concerns with the Sudanese mediation.

NAS is the second opposition group to mark its disapproval of the deal and confirmed the growing rift within the opposition alliance. Already, the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), another SSOA member rejected the agreement on the outstanding issues of governance.

In a statement made public on Monday, the group recalled its position on the governance deal of 2 August and reiterated it NAS has not authorized any individual or any group of individuals to act on its behalf, to represent it in Khartoum or to sign the deal on its behalf.

"The Leadership of NAS is aware that some of its members have been compromised and are under extraordinary pressure to sign the Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance. While NAS’ leadership is handling this unfortunate Incidence internally," reads the statement signed by its leader Thomas Cirillo Swaka.

In a statement issued on 2 August, NAS regretted that the initialled governance deal does not meet its aspiration for a strong federal system.

"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," stressed the statement of 2 August.

The opposition group in its statement of 6 August also condemned the intimidation exercised on the opposition groups by the Sudanese mediation to bring them to ink the governance deal on Sunday, without elaborating.

"NAS’ leadership is deeply shocked by and condemn in the strongest terms possible the coercive, intimidating and divide-and-conquer, tactics being deployed by the Mediation in this regard".