Home | News    Tuesday 28 August 2018

SPLM-IO, SSOA refuse to initial final S. Sudan peace document

South Sudan's opposition leader Riek Machar arrives at the office of Ethiopia's Prime Minister for a meeting with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, June 20, 2018. (Photo AP)
August 28, 2018 (KHARTOUM) -The Sudanese foreign minister and IGAD chief mediator Tuesday said the SPLM-IO of Riek Machar and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance have refused to initial the final document of the revitalized peace agreement.

“The main opposition party, led by Machar, as well as another group, refused to sign, demanding guarantees over their reservations” El-Dirdeiry Ahmed.

The two groups have underscored their concerns on two different issues.

The SPLM-IO objected to the constitution-making process saying the permanent constitution have to elaborate through the National Constitutional Conference and not by the government-controlled National Constitutional Review Commission as provided in the draft agreement.

For the opposition alliance, their concerns were mainly focused on the referendum which is set by the mediation as the default solution to fix the disagreement over the number of the 32 states unilaterally established President Kiir. So, they call to re-establish the old 10 states as the default option.

On Monday evening, El-Dirdeiry and South Sudan information minister already announced the rejection to sign the deal by one of the two parties, adding that the other failed to meet the deadline and said the signing will be on Tuesday morning.

For the issue of the states, the mediators maintained the referendum as the default option but added two new elements. The first is to review the current boundaries of states and to ensure their conformity to the 1.1.1956 tribal border. The second that people would be asked if they want the 10 states system or the 32 states regime.

For the concern of the SPLM-IO, it is unclear what the mediators have proposed to the main opposition group.

The call for democratic reforms and was the reason that led to the eruption of the five-year civil war in South Sudan.

The Sudanese mediators are expected to reach the two parties to break the deadlock.

President Salva Kiir has already arrived in Beijing where he will meet Chinese leaders ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation is scheduled for 3-4 September.

(ST)