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Tribal leader announces end of split within a South Sudanese opposition group

September 5, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Agany Abdel Bagi Ayii Akol, a rebel leader based in Meiram and in charge of what is now called the South Sudan Patriotic Army.

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Major General Abdel-Bagi Ayii Akol (SMC photo)

Abdel Bagi Ayii Akol, a Dinka tribal leader from Northern Bahr ek-Ghazal region, announced a reconciliation between South Sudan Patriotic Movement/Army (SSPM/A) leaders and the end of a rift between his son and SSPA commander Agany and its chairman Costello Garang Ring Lual.

On 25 August 2018, Agany military commander announced the eviction of the SSPM chairman Costello accusing him of obstructing peace negotiations. The SSPM is a faction of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance.

In a statement released in Khartoum, Akol said the Agany and Castello accept an initiative to settle their dispute launched by a mediation committee he chairs and include other tribal and SSPM leading figures

"I declare that the dispute within the Movement has ended and that the South Sudan Patriotic Movement is united under the leadership of the commander-in-chief and chairman Castillo Garang," said the former presidential adviser to President Salva Kiir.

Agany has resumed his participation in the peace talks in Khartoum while Castello who is living in Europe will return to Khartoum soon for further talks.

The conflict distributed the opposition alliance SSOA which includes nine rebel groups because it happened at a time the parties are finishing the last outstanding issues and before to initial the final document.

(ST)