Six senior members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance have called on their colleagues who declined to sign the revitalized peace agreement to rejoin the party.
Last week, the leader of the National Salvation Front – Gen Thomas Cirilo abstained from the signing of the revitalized peace agreement arguing that the new arrangement prioritizes power sharing over devolution of power.
Earlier, FD member Pagan Amum also issued a statement, criticizing their representative, Deng Alor Kuol, for inking the final peace deal.
However, Gabriel Changson, Dr. Lam Akol, Bangasi Bakasoro, Peter Gadet, Bapiny Monytuil, and Hussein Abdelbagi endorsed the peace agreement.
According to a statement issued by the opposition leaders, the current peace agreement addresses the core demands of SSOA and opens door for achieving the remaining issues through a political dialogue.
They also say the agreement seeks to address the continued killing of civilians, enables the return of refugees and IDPs, and will address the economic hardship the country is facing.
The statement seen by Eye Radio further warns the individuals who did not sign the agreement to cease using the official logo and the name of SSOA, describing such moves as forgery.
It said the intentions to divide the opposition into splinter groups is counter-productive to the unity and national responsibility portrayed by the opposition when they resolved to participate in the High-level Revitalization forum.
The leaders appealed to their colleagues to abandon any return to violence, saying no single party can achieve all its demands at once.
A political commentator who spoke to Eye Radio’s Big Story program agrees that no party can claim victory over another during peace talks.
Dr. James Okuk said individuals who refused to sign the revitalized peace accord must be persuaded by the region to join the peace process.
“It is a negotiation, everybody will not be happy with what comes out from it. So they will continue to be persuaded to join the peace process,” he said.
According to the preamble of the signed revitalized peace agreement, the parties agreed that a federal system of governance is a popular demand of the people of the South Sudan and the need for the RTGoNU will reflect it by devolving more powers and resources to lower levels of government.
(Additional information by Rosemary Wilfred)