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South Sudan opposition alliance issues 3-day ultimatum over peace process for two groups

September 7, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) has given three days for two recalcitrant members of the umbrella to determine whether they intend to continue the peace process with the other opposition groups or alone.

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Gabriel Changson Chang (file/ST)

In two letters in identical terms addressed three days after a first letter on 4 September to the National Salvation Front (NAS) and the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) , SSOA chairperson Gabriel Chang Chnagson asked the leaders of the two groups to show if they plan to keep their membership in the alliance or not.

" We did not yet receive confirmation from you whether or not (NAS or PDM) will move together with the other members of SSOA in the remaining phase of the peace talks," said Gabriel Chang Changson in the separate letters seen by Sudan Tribune to NAS leader Thomas Cirillio and PDM leader Dario Hakim.

"Therefore, and in line with Articles 5(1) and 5(3) of the Charter, we expect a written communication from you by the 10th of September 2018. Otherwise, we shall consider that NAS will be charting its own way in the peace process," Changson stressed.

The two groups rejected the signing of the governance deal and the final peace document by the group leader.

On the other hand, the SSOA in a joint statement with the SPLM-IO to mark their concerns on the final document of the revitalized peace agreement ignored the PDM’s demand for three states. Also, NAS said complained that their demands are systematically disregarded.

The image of the opposition umbrella has been tarnished by the different disagreements and splits and within its factions as it was the case recently in the South Sudan Patriotic Movement and NAS.

The peace process is officially closed as the parties initialled the final document and the implementation matrix. However, SPLM-IO and SSOA said they would not take part in the ceremony of the final signing unless their concerns are resolved.

The IGAD Council of Ministers is expected to meet within days to discuss on the progress achieved and make recommendations on the unresolved issues. But the final decision remains in the hands of the heads of state and government.