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South Sudan rebels say planned leadership meeting on course despite challenges

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April 11, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s rebel faction (SPLM-IO) led by former vice-president Riek Machar said a planned consultative leadership meeting was still on track despite reports that it had been cancelled due to logistical challenges.

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Rebel fighters greet one another at a rebel camp in South Sudan’s Jonglei state on 1 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

Rebel sources in Addis Ababa told Sudan Tribune that the meeting which was announced to take place on Friday in the rebel-held town of Pagak close to the Ethiopian border failed to take place due to logistical problems.

The source added that though the meeting was rescheduled to begin this Wednesday, it was likely that the leadership would cancel it because of lack of money to transport hundreds of delegates to the venue from various countries and locations inside South Sudan.

However, Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, said the plan to convene the leadership meeting was still on track despite his confirmation of the logistical challenges.

“Yes, there are logistical challenges but the plan to convene the meeting is on course,” Dak told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

“You know, we are a resistant movement of volunteers. We don’t have resources. We neither have aircrafts and vehicles nor money to hire them so as to transport our delegates in time,” he added.

The rebel spokesperson said the delayed meeting was to make consultations and consolidate leadership position on an expected peace agreement in Addis Ababa with president Salva Kiir’s government.

He also explained that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which had been mediating the peace process was only helping in coordinating and facilitating the travel of the delegates by ensuring that they got visas, particularly from IGAD member states.

Hundreds of delegates including chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of national committees, representatives of the movement from abroad and senior army commanders are expected to participate in the leadership meeting.

It is not however clear if the logistical situation will allow for this expensive gathering as the new expanded IGAD-Plus mediation mechanism prepares to resume this month what seems to be the final round of the peace process on South Sudan.

There is speculation that the new IGAD-Plus group, which involves the African Union (AU), troika countries, European Union (EU), China and the United Nations, has been drafting a final peace agreement to be signed by the two rival leaders.

The UN and troika countries have also warned of targeted sanctions against individual leaders seen to be obstructing peace and perpetuating the 15-month-long civil war. The measures would include travel ban, assets freeze and arms embargo.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 12 April 2015 08:54, by Mapuor

    Rebels should not waste time consulting themselves on the coming peace talks. Government has made it clear that there are only two options for accommodating Dr Riek in the government;1.Nonexecutive prime minister 2.Vice president with equal powers with the incumbent vice president. No separate army, former SPLA officers go back to their former ranks. Very concise. Or else AK 47.SPLA oyee

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    • 12 April 2015 10:37, by Malakal county Simon

      For a real peace to prevail, both Dr Machar and unwanted Kiir must share power equally 40% between each....... The remaining 20% can be share by former detainees and political parties of confined Lam Akol. Otherwise, the war is eminent....... Take it or leave it!!

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      • 12 April 2015 12:44, by Hardlinner

        County simon, are you tell us that nuer despite being 15% of south sudan population should be given 40% of government position. That is a joke. in fact they are entitled only 5% since some of their kinsmen already occupied 15% of current government positions.

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        • 12 April 2015 13:44, by Malakal county Simon

          Hardliner

          For your information, the SPLM_IO moment composed alot of tribes including your tribe mates, thus moment is qualified for a 40% of power sharing..... Another point that’s I want to dispute is the falsed claimed that you made about the current Nuer- traitors in government, make 15% alone......Honestly, this a fallacy that anyone cannot agrees......

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          • 12 April 2015 13:52, by Malakal county Simon

            By the way, the current Nuer population is 2.5 million....... Which is 20% of entire of country populations.......

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  • 12 April 2015 14:25, by bianaathling

    Some of u may need to understand some signs which are now appearing before this final round is commenced.Makuey is not longer now disturbing people with fakes and lies information about peace.Red line being always drawn by Kiir is not using it now anymore.The bullets on the table negotion it does not need joke Salva will accept 40% equally sharing and two armies.otherwise his life will be at ris

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  • 12 April 2015 18:29, by Kim Deng

    When a Nuer man says the sky is BLUE, a Dinka man would say it’s RED. Therefore, let’s burn down this Jungle (South Sudna) to ashes. But my main concern is about other minority Jurs (Teet, Bar, Chai, Nyam-Nyam...), who may be caught in between as "Dinka-Nuer" war takes its peak.

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  • 13 April 2015 06:02, by marie

    If Nuer and Jengey want to destroy South Sudan, the rest of us would have to protect ourselves and shield off our areas from being infiltrated by these two rivaling tribes.

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