Tuesday, January 27, 2015

South Sudan’s Kiir Convenes Meeting to Ratify Arusha Deal
January 25, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, has called for an extraordinary meeting of the ruling party (SPLM) to debate and ratify the recent Arusha pact, which aims to unite the rank and file of the membership and leadership of the three rival political factions.

Members of the SPLM’s national liberation council and political bureau are expected to attend Monday’s extraordinary meeting in the capital, Juba.

Daniel Awet Akot, a senior member of the SPLM, told reporters that the president “was serious” with the reunification of the party, but insisted the latter will not backtrack over calls for him to step down from power without proper procedures and processes.

“I would like to inform the general public through you [media] that the SPLM under the leadership of comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit would convene tomorrow morning Monday 26 January 2015, an extraordinary meeting of the national liberation council to review and approve the Arusha SPLM reunification agreement. This is a very important message you must publicize to our people,” Akot said on Sunday.

“I want our people to know that the president is very serious with reunification even though there are still contractions and voices calling for his resignation after signing the framework agreement,” he added.

The former deputy speaker expressed optimism of the reunification of the three party factions, saying SPLM has always shown ability to overcome differences and “emerges stronger after internal setbacks”.

“I am very much optimistic that the SPLM will emerge stronger than ever before because it has always shown unique leadership and ability to overcome internal setbacks,” staid Akot.

“I hope the spirit we had in Arusha would be the same spirit in the peace negotiation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” he added.

Last week, the three SPLM factions signed an agreement seeking to reunify the rank and file of its leadership and membership, pledging to work together to secure reforms and national unity.

The accord, dubbed the Agreement on the Reunification of the SPLM, serves as a roadmap towards ending the violent conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and uprooted millions others from their homes when political debates on reforms within the ruling party turned violent.

The deal, which was signed by Kiir, rebel leader Riek Machar and the representative of the former SPLM detainees and former cabinet minister Deng Alor in the presence of Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete seeks to address the root causes of the intra-party conflict, which plunged the country into crisis on 15 December 2013

Political in-fighting between president Kiir and Machar turned into a fully fledged conflict that has seen over 100,000 civilians seek protection at United Nation bases across the country. The crisis has uprooted an estimated 1.9 million people and placed more than seven million at risk of hunger and disease.


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