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Lack of political will impeding peace deal implementation: SPLM-IO official


August 17, 2021 (JUBA)- Lack of political will from the warring parties to implement the security arrangements has allowed “peace spoilers” to use public resources to destabilized the armed opposition movement (SPLM-IO), a senior official said.

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Manawa Peter Gatkuoth

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, the SPLM-IO Acting Chairperson of the National Committee for Information and Public Relations, Manawa Peter Gatkouth said the armed opposition group remains committed to the implementing of Chapter II of the accord, dealing with the security arrangement.

“Chapter II of the agreement changes the balance of power in the country by evenly distributing the national army 50/50 percent between the government and opposition forces, as stipulated in the Khartoum workshop facilitated by IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development],” he explained.

On August 3, the SPLM/A-IO former chief of staff Simon Gatwech Dual defected from the group, accusing its leader Riek Machar of nepotism and weakness.

Gatkouth, however, accused those behind Kitgwang Declarations of violating the peace agreement by creating internal conflicts to destabilize the SPLM-IO.

“The Kitgwang Declaration was engineered to create new conflicts between communities in the Upper Nile Region to further delay the peace implementation,” he said, adding that it is an attempt to derail the implement of the security arrangements.

According to Gatkouth, while the SPLM-IO remains committed to the peace agreement as the solution to the conflict, Kitgwang Group insists on an armed revolution by mobilizing cattle camps and South Sudanese living in camps.

“The SPLM-IO reiterates its commitment to the implementation of the Agreement and restore permanent and sustainable peace, security and stability in the country,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Mabior Garang de Mabior, son of the founding leader of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and a member of a faction of the main armed opposition under Gen. Dual has a rejected a peace deal aimed at distributing jobs instead of reforms and delivering services.

Garang denied that the Kit Gwang declaration was sponsored by a section of the coalition government, pointing to lack of implementation of the key provisions in the peace deal.

“The charge that we are backed by Juba is intended to discredit those who are calling for security arrangements as peace spoilers. The peace they mean is this distribution of jobs they have been engaged in for the past three years. Not a single provision in the reform agenda has even been discussed, let alone implemented”, said Mabior in a statement seen by Sudan Tribune.

The Kit Gwang Declaration, he argued, is a reminder to the politicians in Juba that they have forgotten some key provisions of the Agreement.

Garang appealed to the public to disregard claims that they are on the payroll of Juba.

“This propaganda begs the question; what is the criteria for talking to Juba? Because these same people are wining and dining with the "who is who of Juba". We are open to dialogue with anyone, we are not afraid to negotiate, as President JFK would put it and we shall also not negotiate out of fear - as it were," Garang stressed.

He added, "The interest of the Kit Gwang Declaration is what is in the best interest of the peoples of South Sudan and dialogue is the least costly way for us to reach an understanding on how we can best achieve welfare and prosperity for all our peoples”.


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