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South Sudan’s NAS refuses final peace document

August 31, 2018 (JUBA) - Another member of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) distanced itself from the coalition and rejected the signing of the final document of the revitalised peace agreement by its leader.

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Thomas Cirillo Swaka (Photo Reuters)

The National Salvation Front (NAS) of General Thomas Cirillo has joined the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) and the SPLM- Former Political Detainees - FDs, which also refused marked their rejection of the draft peace agreement.

In a statement released Friday, the group spokesperson Suba Samuel Manase said they informed the SSOA and the IGAD mediators they are not part of the "initialling exercise" by SSOA leader Gabriel Chanson Chang on Thursday 30 August.

"We have made our position crystal clear that the Khartoum round of negotiation on governance has fallen short of addressing the root causes of the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan," said Manase.

He further stressed that this final text is a "is a recipe for more conflict" and therefore "we shall not betray our people by rewarding them with short-term peace".

NAS refused to sign the governance agreement of 5 August 2018 saying it "prioritizes power-sharing over devolution of powers", emphasising it defers the question of federalism to a permanent constitution-making process (during the transitional period) that the parties cannot guarantee when this will eventually happen".

Like the PDM, NAS wants this issues of governance be settle in the peace agreement.

However, the group expressed its commitment to the ongoing peace process and pledged to "contribute to comprehensive and sustainable peace" in the country.

SSOA and the SPLM-IO before to sign the final text of the revitalized peace agreement expressed four concerns saying that President Omer al-Bashir of Sudan pledged to address before the final signing with the IGAD leaders.

However, these concerns do not include PAM-NAS demand for a federal system agreed during the negotiation, noting that PAM clearly says they want a three-region system.

The two parties are seen as expressing the inspiration of people in the Greater Equatoria for one region, as it was the case in 1956 with the independence of Sudan.

It was purported that General Cirillo who is currently visiting the United States and other holdout groups seek to convince the international community particularly the Troika countries to support their plight.

The international community called for an inclusive and comprehensive deal in South Sudan saying they would only support a sustainable peace agreement.

IGAD welcomes

In a statement released on Friday, the IGAD Special Envoy Ambassador Ismail Wais, welcomed the initialling of the draft agreement and congratulates the parties for signing the agreement.

"This is a step in the right direction to help the reconciliation and rebuilding of South Sudan," he said.

He called on the parties to demonstrate their commitment to start implementing the revitalized ARCSS as a matter of priority and to prepare for the upcoming IGAD Summit.