South Sudan Opposition Alliance Requests IGAD Mediators to Deal With Them As One Entity
April 6, 2018 (JUBA)- The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) demanded the IGAD mediation team to deal with them as one political entity in the peace revitalization forum which is expected to resume on 26 April.
The SSOA ()"is a united group and as stakeholders, we have had one common position throughout the last two rounds of talks (Phases I and II). Therefore, in the consultations the IGAD intends to carry out between now and the 26th of April, we would like to be consulted as one entity," said the opposition umbrella in a letter addressed to the IGAD chief mediator Ismail Wais on 27 March.
"In this regards, we request Your Excellency to make arrangements for the Leaders of the constituent parties to the SSOA to meet IGAD representatives in Addis Ababa for these consultations," further said the letter seen by Sudan Tribune.
The letter was signed by the SSOA leaders including Gabriel Changsong Chang, chriman of the Federal Democratic Party-South Sudan Armed Forces (FDP-SSAF) FDP/SSAF) the Former Detainees (FDs), led by Pagan Amum, the National Salvation Front (NAS), headed by Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, Lam Akol, the chairman of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) , Hakim Dario Moi, the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) chairman, Bapiny Monytuil, chairman of SSLM/A, Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, chairman of National Movement for Change, Costello Garang Ring, leader of South Sudan Patriotic Movement, and Peter Gatdet Yak, chairman of South Sudan United Movement.
The opposition alliance underscored that the forum should not only be limited to the power sharing and the security arrangements saying such "approach is not inclusive enough".
They further regretted that the the proposal put forward by the Mediators ignored their a position paper their submitted during the plenary discussions and suggested that the consultations "should be broad enough to include our written position".
The letter also, included a demand shared by the SPLM In Opposition of Riek Machar that "the Juba government cannot be both a party to the conflict as well as part of the mediation".
The opposition alliance said the South Sudanese government should be "recused" because of the potential lack of impartiality " when IGAD Council of Ministers, or indeed any other IGAD institution, is acting as a mediator on the South Sudan conflict".
The peace talks, dubbed High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) have been scheduled for 26 – 30 of April 2018.
FDP leader Gabriel Changsong Chang said the need to resolve the root cause of the over four year conflict pushed them to come together around common issues
“ And to meet the challenge requiring us to move together in the direction of common issues, we have resolved to merge our parties under the banner of South Sudan Opposition Alliance, explained Changson.
He repeated that the alliance rejects participation of the government in meetings in which issues related to the affairs of the country, specifically how the conflict can be resolved.
"It gives (the government) advantage to posit its position in the talks before the Assembly in the absence of the other parties to the conflict".