The power sharing deal signed by South Sudan United Movement/Army (SSUM/A), a member of the South Sudan opposition alliance, could cause fresh crisis in the group.
South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), a consortium of nine opposition entities, on Thursday decided to suspend the membership of SSUM/A led by General Peter Gatdet Yak for taking a unilateral decision to sign a peace deal with the government and the opposition group led by former vice president Riek Machar in Khartoum on Wednesday.
The alliance’s members except General Peter Gatdet Yak’s group had declined to initial the peace agreement, saying some pending issues in the document needed more work.
In a suspension letter seen by Radio Tamazuj, the group suspended the membership of SSUM/A for signing the latest version of the power sharing proposal in defiance of SSOA leadership.
“On the basis of this information, the SSOA leadership deliberated on the matter and found that it is a contravention of Article 7(3) (b) and (c) of the Charter of SSOA,” partly reads the suspension notice bearing the name of Gabriel Changson Chang, the interim leader of the opposition alliance.
The interim leader requested SSUM/A to present a satisfactory explanation for defying the alliance’s regulations.
Government says non-signatories of peace deal are ‘insignificant’
South Sudan’s opposition groups that refrained from initialling the peace deal on Wednesday are “insignificant” and “have no effect, ”information minister Michael Makuei said.
SPLM Former Detainees and South Sudan Opposition Alliance except Gen. Peter Gatdet Yak’s rebel group declined to initial the agreement, saying some pending issues needed more work.
“We will continue without them if they don’t join. The way forward is that we are implementing the agreement in letter and spirit. Anybody who has abstained these are non-essentials and they will have to join,” Michael Makuei told reporters in Khartoum after his team signed the peace deal with the SPLM-IO movement on Wednesday.
The outspoken minister further said his government will move the peace deal forward with the main opposition group led by former vice president Riek Machar if the smallest opposition groups refuse to sign the proposed deal.
“It is us who are fighting and if we signed the agreement, then the war has definitely ended,” he said.
The government spokesman, who is under international sanctions, urged the international community to support the implementation of the implementation of the signed peace agreement.
“We want peace for our people. I appeal to anybody who has abstained. I appeal to him or to her to join the people of South Sudan in this peace process,” he said.
The United States said in a recent statement that it won’t fund South Sudan’s transitional government in the absence of a sustained, demonstrated commitment to peace, inclusivity, financial accountability and good governance.
The White House said it was sceptical that South Sudan President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar can oversee an end to the conflict.