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SPLM-FDs pulls out of South Sudan final revitalized peace document

August 29, 2018 (JUAB) - The opposition SPLM-FDs Wednesday disapproved the initialling by the head of its delegation of the final document of the revitalized peace agreement, stressing that there would not be a lasting peace if the outstanding issues are not resolved now.

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SPLM FDs leader and former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum (AFP/Getty)

On Tuesday morning, the South Sudanese government, the Other Political Parties (OPP) and the SPLM-FDs signed the final document of the agreement. Later on, the mediation said the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar agreed also to ink it on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the SPLM-FDs leader Pagan Amum regretted that the head of their delegation to the peace talks in Khartoum Deng Alor "prematurely" signed the deal while they were still consulting the leadership members.

Further, Amum said they found that the final document left many issues unresolved and accordingly it does not create the necessary conditions for a sustainable peace in South Sudan.

"Hence the initialling was not based on consensus nor majority decision. It is therefore invalid and should be treated thus," he said.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and the SPLM-IO rejected the final document saying the permanent constitution should be prepared by the constitutional conference, not a government-controlled commission. Also, they said the government refused a compromise to solve the disagreement over the number of states and regretted that the mediation withdrew it from the final text.

The Sudanese mediation, for its part, said the constitutional mechanism was not part of its mandate. Also, it added that the compromise on the number of states will be referred to the IGAD leaders to decide on it.

Later, on Tuesday evening, Khartoum said SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar agreed to initial the final document after extensive discussions with the chief mediator. Sudan pledged to seek a decision on the contested issues raised by the main opposition group at a meeting of the IGAD heads of state and government next month.

The Sudanese mediation already resorted to the IGAD leaders to include the disagreement on the number of states in the Khartoum Round of talks when the SSOA and SPLM-FDs refused to sign the agreement on the governance issues on 5 August.

However, Amum said at this stage they cannot continue to initialling documents with reservations or put on hold substantive issues for further negotiations.

"We believe that to negotiate these outstanding issues during the stage of implementation will be a futile exercise," he further said.