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CEPO urges armed opposition faction to cease military hostilities


August 7, 2021 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese civil society entity has urged the leadership of the armed opposition movement (SPLM/A-IO) to cease military confrontations and resolve their grievances peacefully.

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South Sudanese civil society activist Edmund Yakani (The Niles/File)

On Saturday, forces of the former SPLM-IO chief of staff, General Simon Gatwech Dual and those allied to First Vice President Riek Machar clashed in Magenis area of Upper Nile State, with each side claiming victory.

“Community Empowerment for Progress Organization strongly condemned the negative development and it is unfortunate situation. This act of fresh clashed among the conflicting factions of SPLM-IO constitute violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement 2017,” CEPO said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune Sunday.

The civil society entity also appealed to the leadership of the conflicting armed opposition factions to take responsibility to dialogue and find immediate solutions to their misunderstandings.

“This negative development that undermines the process for transitioning the situation across the South Sudan from violence to peace is clear demonstration of some political and military leaders’ lack of will for implementing the signed Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan,” the statement further noted.

Edmund Yakani, an activist, said the primary responsibility of implementing provisions of the revitalized peace agreement remains in the hands of the parties that signed the September 2018 accord.

He urged the conflicting factions of the armed opposition group to cease hostilities.

“Protection of civilians and human rights should not be compromised by any one of the conflicting parties in Magenis,” Yakani explained.

He echoed calls for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to immediately intervene and resolve divisions in the country’s main opposition movement.

On August 3, the SPLM/A-IO military command under the Chief of General Staff First Lieutenant General Simon Gatwech Dual denounced the leadership of Machar and appointed the former as the new interim chairman of the armed opposition movement.

The decision to oust Machar, it said in a declaration, emerged after several members held a three-day meeting at Magenis area in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.

But Machar’s office, in a statement issued on Thursday, said the three generals who met at Mangenis do not constitute the military command leadership of the SPLA-IO.

The SPLM-IO also reiterated its commitment to the full implementation of the peace agreement in letter and spirit, urging other parties to the accord to do the same.

In September 2018, the warring factions in South Sudan’s civil war signed a revitalized peace agreement to end the country’s civil war. The peace accord stipulates that there shall be a transitional government formed after eight months of the pre-transitional period.


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