Calls for sup­port to im­ple­ment new peace agree­ment

Juba said to be de­ter­mined to re­store peace af­ter Khartoum banned rebels

The East African - - NEWS - By FRED OLUOCH Special Cor­re­spon­dent

Kenya, Su­dan, Uganda and Ethiopia must di­rectly par­tic­i­pate in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new South Su­dan peace agree­ment signed in Khartoum on Septem­ber 12, of­fi­cials say, or risk hav­ing it go the way of the 2015 agree­ment.

South Su­dan am­bas­sador to China John An­druga Duku, who was part of the gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tion dur­ing the negotiations, told The

Eastafrican in Nairobi that Juba is de­ter­mined to re­store peace af­ter Su­dan came in strongly to push for the agree­ment.

He said pre­vi­ously the rebels had a safe haven in Su­dan, but with Pres­i­dent Omar al-bashir ac­cel­er­at­ing the process the gov­ern­ment hopes that Khartoum will no longer al­low rebels to op­er­ate on its soil.

“It is in the in­ter­ests of these coun­tries to en­sure that the agree­ment is im­ple­mented. The agree­ment is not only for the suf­fer­ing of the South Su­danese but for the sake of the econ­omy and the se­cu­rity of the en­tire re­gion,” said Mr Duku.

How­ever, he claimed that the strong in­volve­ment of Pres­i­dent al- Bashir in the process is one of the rea­sons why the Troika — US, UK and Nor­way — did not en­dorse the agree­ment be­cause he did not al­low them to dic­tate the pace and the con­tents of the agree­ment like in 2015.

“This time we are ask­ing the Western pow­ers whether they are for peace or for the con­tin­u­a­tion of the war. If they are not sup­port­ing the re­vi­talised agree­ment signed by the majority of the stake­hold­ers, then they are try­ing to be more Catholic than the Pope,” he said.

The Troika, the ma­jor fun­ders of the South Su­dan peace process and the key donors to the coun­try, did not guar­an­tee the agree­ment be­cause it was not fully in­clu­sive and con­cen­trated on po­lit­i­cal power-shar­ing, adding that South Su­danese lead­ers sign agree­ments that they don’t hon­our.

Riek Machar’s Su­danese Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Move­ment-in-op­po­si­tion (SPLM-IO) is also calling for op­ti­mism among its sup­port­ers. Mabior Garang de Mabior, the SPLM-IO direc­tor for in­for­ma­tion and pub­lic re­la­tions, said they be­lieve that a set­tle­ment could re­sult in the re­forms they have been fight­ing for.

“The SPLM-IO mem­bers should not be dis­mayed that we did not get ev­ery­thing we want from the agree­ment or be­cause many as­sur­ances given by the me­di­a­tors have not been ad­e­quately ad­dressed. But this is the na­ture of negotiations,” he said.

He is, how­ever, con­cerned by the con­tin­ued at­tacks by the gov­ern­ment forces on their de­fen­sive po­si­tions in Equa­to­ria and Up­per Nile, which pose a chal­lenge to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the per­ma­nent cease­fire dur­ing the eight months pre-in­terim pe­riod.

“The main goals of the Re­vi­talised Agree­ment is to pre­pare for a free and fair elec­tion by em­bark­ing on re­forms in the ju­di­ciary, the army and the po­lice, the re­turn of the over two mil­lion refugees in the neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, de­lin­eation of the con­stituen­cies, and the reg­is­tra­tion of vot­ers within the eight-month pre-tran­si­tion pe­riod,” said Mr Duku.

The agree­ment is not only for the suf­fer­ing of the South Su­danese but for the sake of the econ­omy and the se­cu­rity of the en­tire re­gion.” South Su­dan am­bas­sador to China John An­druga

Pic­ture: AFP

South Su­danese par­ties have called for op­ti­mism over the new deal signed by Pres­i­dent Salva Kiir and op­po­si­tion leader Riek Machar.

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