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S. Sudan’s PDM says final peace document does not meet opposition goals

September 9, 2018 (JUBA) - The opposition People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) brushed aside an ultimatum given by the chairperson of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), stressing that it has rejected the final document of the revitalized peace agreement because it does meet any of the shared goals o the opposition umbrella.

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Hakim Dario, PDM leader

SSOA Interim Chair Gabriel Chang Changson on Friday addressed a strongly worded letter to the National Salva Front (NAS) and PDM leaders urging them to determine if they intend to continue to remain part of the opposition alliance in the next phase of the peace process. The two members of the alliance have disapproved the signing of the final document and had rejected his acceptance of the governance agreement.

In response to his letter, NAS leader Thomas cirillio Swaka responded by reaffirming his commitment to the unity of the opposition alliance at this critical stage of the talks but stressed that he would continue to work for a true federal system in South Sudan ensuring more powers and resources to the states.

For his part, the PDM leader Dario Hakim in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday questioned the integrity of the letter sent by Changson saying the SSOA charter does not allow him to issue such ultimatum.

Further, Hakim said the final document signed by the SSOA on 30 August does not meet the SSOA “agreed common matters of mutual interests”, except the formation of a new national army.

"The unmet expectations in Articles (3-6) of the SSOA Charter leaves no doubts and uncertainty about the net deficits; in respect of SSOA obligations to itself and the people, and what has not been achieved by the KPA (Khartoum Peace Agreement), including PDM position on three autonomous regions people-based solution," he said.

The opposition group calls for the establishment of three regions in Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile, the three area of Southern Sudan when Sudan obtained the independence in 1956. However, other SSOA factions calls for the reestablishment of the 10 states that the country had many long years ago before the independence until October 2015.

The PDM’s leader called on the other members of the opposition alliance to "to remain true and steadfast in support of the SSOA charter’s" founding principles and aspirations for our people and the country for democratic transformation.

He further urged them to join his party in its struggle for a just and people-centric peace, which does not reward impunity and does not bless the "illegitimate rule of Salva Kiir by a say of Uganda and Sudan economic interests in the KPA".

The IGAD Council of Ministers will discuss next Tuesday the four concerns and demands made by the SPLM-IO and SSOA when they initialled the final document last week.

The SSOA was established in April 2018 by nine opposition groups including FDP/SSAF of Gabriel Changsong Chang, FDs of Pagan Amum Okiech, NAS of Gen. Thomas C. Swaka NDM chaired by Lam Akol, PDM of Dario Hakim, SSLM/A led by Gen. Bapiny Monytuil, SSNMC chaired by Joseph B. Bakosoro, SSPM led by Costello Garang Ring, SSUM/A of Gen. Peter Gadet Yak and UDRA of Gatweth K. Thich.

(ST)