Juba, November 6, 2019 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) have involved in a ‘tit-for-tat’ game, accusing each other of impeding the implementation of the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement less than a week before November 12 dateline.
The accusations emerged soon after South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, renewed his last month call to form a unity government with or without the SPLM/A-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar.
Addressing the Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), Kiir told lawmakers that he is ready to form a transitional government even if Machar’s part refuses. The President accuses the SPLM-IO leader of trying to keep the country ‘hostage’.
“As you all know, I have consistently reiterated my position to form the unity government as agreed upon on November 12, 2019. We will go ahead and form the government of national unity,” Kiir told visibly nervous MPs.
The SPLM-IO immediately rebuke Kiir’s assertion, saying the President has been consistently obstructing the execution of the agreement while at the same time positioning himself as someone who wants peace to prevail.
“The government of South Sudan under his H.E. President Salva Kiir has for more than a year been impeding the implementation of peace by refusing to fund activities of the agreement, refusing to implement security arrangements, and refusing to resolve the issue of the number of states,” the armed opposition says in a statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).
“We did not sign the agreement to be abandoned. We signed it to be implemented. The SPLM-IO is not going to be pushed around by the same person [Kiir] who consistently refuse to embrace peace. We want real peace not something that will return the country to war,” it added.
The SPLM-IO also reaffirms its October statement that it will not be a part of any unity government unless security arrangements are implemented and the issue of the number of states is resolved.
The South Sudan News Agency understands that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has called for a face-to-face meeting between Machar and Kiir. The meeting, which is expected to convene tomorrow (Thursday) in Kampala, will also involve other South Sudanese opposition leaders. Sudan, one of the peace guarantors will also participate in the meeting. Most SPLM-IO supporters do not trust Museveni. They view him as a sworn ally of Kiir who directly participated in the war.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is also expected to host South Sudan’s leaders on Friday (November 8) in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. The meeting is aimed to assess the status of the pact.