8 January 2016

South Sudan: Sudanese People's Liberation Movement Resolves Conflict

Photo: Jacob Zocherman/IRIN
Victims of South Sudan's civil war: Civilians wait to collect their rations at a United Nations facility.

Pretoria — Conflict within the ranks of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has now come to an end, says South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Presidency on Friday said this followed consultations between Deputy President Ramaphosa, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and leaders of the SPLM (former detainees) and SPLM (in opposition), Taban Deng and Deng Alor, on Thursday in Juba in South Sudan.

Deputy President Ramaphosa was in South Sudan representing President Jacob Zuma at the Extra-Ordinary National Convention of the SPLM held in Juba from 7 - 8 January 2016.

The Presidency said during the Deputy President's consultation with the leaders of the opposition, who had taken a decision not to attend the convention, he persuaded them to attend the Extra-Ordinary Convention as part of confidence building measures aimed at the reunification of the SPLM.

The Presidency said the two leaders attended the Extra-Ordinary Convention, a decision that went well to foster unity and reunification of the SPLM.

"We can truly say that indeed the conflict that engulfed the SPLM has today come to an end and the guns of war have now been silenced. Taban Deng said there is no more going to war, which means that there is a permanent ceasefire," said the Deputy President.

He attended and addressed the convention alongside the representative of the Tanzania's ruling party as co-guarantors of the Arusha Reunification Agreement.

The Extra-Ordinary National Convention was convened specifically to incorporate provisions of the Arusha Agreement, signed in January 2015, into the constitution of the SPLM.

During the visit to Juba, Deputy President Ramaphosa also paid a courtesy call on President Kiir.

"During his consultations, Deputy President Ramaphosa was informed that substantial progress had been made in negotiations between the various factions of the SPLM and the government, regarding the formation of the government of national unity.

"In this regard, President Kiir is expected to announce the government of national unity by decree," said the Presidency.

Deputy President Ramaphosa also held bilateral consultations on the margins of the SPLM's Extra-Ordinary National Convention with Botswana former President Festus Mogae, who is the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, established under the Compromise Agreement.

Deputy President Ramaphosa is expected to return from Juba to South Africa later today, ahead of his planned attendance of the Official Provincial Funeral of the late Indries Naidoo, a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, scheduled for Sunday.

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