9 October 2017

South Sudan: Opposition Wants Separate Meeting With IGAD

Photo: J. Patinkin/VOA
President Salva Kiir (R) and Riek Machar (L).

The Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement former political detainees (SPLM-FDs) have agreed to a meeting with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad).

SPLM-FDs said the meeting with the Igad pre-revatilisation consultation team, should not involve other political groups.

The former political detainees made their stand in a letter dated October 7, 2017 and addressed to the Igad Liaison Office in Juba.

The Igad team is expected in Juba on Friday.

The SPLM-FDs' remark came just days after the SPLM-IO Taban's faction and other political parties under the National Agenda Group, headed by Dr Elia Lomoro, demanded that all the groups in the transitional government to be consulted together, instead of each separately.

"We do not think that separate consultation amounts to a declaration that the peace agreement has collapsed," the SPLM-FDs letter reads.

"We accept and welcome the request of the delegation of Igad Foreign ministers who will be visiting Juba from 13th-14th October 2017, to conduct consultations with us on issues of peace in our country prior to convening of an Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) Revitalisation Forum, in our capacity as the representatives of the Former Political Detainees (FDs) in transitional government.

"It is our strong belief and hope that the convening of the proposed ARCSS Revitalisation Forum by Igad will greatly enhance current efforts by parties to the agreement and their regional and international partners to bring about durable peace and stability to our country and end the immense suffering of our people," the group said.

Igad is expected to hold the Revitalisation Forum after the views of all parties to the South Sudan Peace Agreement have been collected.

South Sudan, which got independence from neighbouring Sudan in 2011, plunged into a civil war in 2013 after President Kiir accused his former deputy, Dr Riek Machar, of attempting a coup.

The war has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions of others, according to the UN.

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