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Holdout group calls for making South Sudan peace "people-centric" pact

SPLM-IO leader Machar and President Kiir ink the goevrance agreement in Khartoum on 5 August 2018 (Photo Ugandan Presidency)
November 16, 2018 (JUBA) - The opposition People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) called to review the revitalized peace agreement to make it more inclusive and representative for the popular will in the three main South Sudan’s provinces during the pre-transitional period.

Reacting to a proposition by the National Dialogue Steering Committee to establish a federal system based on the three regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al-Ghazal, the PDM said that the popular participation in the three provinces would put a term to the rule of the elite.

"The R-ARCSS needs to be re-opened to make it into a people-centric agreement, with 33% power-sharing allocation to each of the three regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al-Ghazal," PDM chairman Hakim Dario in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

According to Dario, the revitalized peace agreement is sharing power between the elites of the at the expense of all the 64 tribes of our people.

"The country should not be held hostage to failed SPLM IG and IO rule for peace to prevail, and given the opportunity the people of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al-Ghazal regional conventions," he further said.

The PDM which is a member of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance led by Thomas Cirilo Sawaka called to amend the revitalized peace agreement to incorporate provisions for Pre-Transitional People’s conventions in Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al-Ghazal before the start of the Transitional Period.

In addition, the holdout group proposed to "incorporate provisions for a federal governance system during the transitional period based on three regions and their colonial districts, which are well known and thus avoid the need for unnecessary imposition of the illegal 32 states in South Sudan".

The PDM had a tough stance against the IGAD mediation team as it kept accusing them of ignoring its submissions, including the three-province system, for a genuine peace agreement that should sanction the SPLM failure to achieve democratic reform and lay the bases for economic development.

the South Sudanese government said it would consider ways to bring the holdout groups to join the revitalized peace agreement.

However, the SSOA-Sawaka factions besides their demand for a genuine federal system also call to review the role played by Sudan and Uganda in the implementation process.

In his statement, Dario called to limit "undue influences or direct infringement upon the sovereignty and economic resources of South Sudan" pointing to the two neighbouring countries located north and south South Sudan.

Earlier this month, the opposition PDM called for a new National Alliance for Democracy And Freedom Action (NADAFA) saying it would be a popular tool in the three provinces to achieve fundamental change in South Sudan.

(ST)