Several South Sudanese opposition groups at the peace talks have declined to initial the Khartoum agreement on power and responsibility sharing.
This include the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOA and the Former Political Detainees.
Those who refused to initial the document are Dr Lam Akol, Gabriel Changson, and Joseph Bakasoro, among others.
For the FDs, they say the Khartoum proposal is giving more power to the incumbent government.
“The power sharing ratios were also changed with even now higher percentages for Juba,” said Kosti Manide, a member of the FDs.
The agreement which was initialed on Wednesday was witnessed by Dr. Riek Machar, the leader of the SPLM/SPLA-IO.
It awards the government 55% of the political ratio in the states and local government; SPLM-IO gets 27 %; South Sudan Other Political Parties with 10 % and 8% to the rest.
This according to Manibe is illegal:
“Many of the things that were in the proposal had all been changed, though the mediation was saying that they will not entertain any major changes. In fact they entertain what we thought were reasonable in that previous proposal were changed.”
He has also called for it to be reversed. He told Eye Radio that the outstanding issues including the 32 states should be addressed.
“The 32 states issue was more less set in stone, and the formulation was that whatever you do, the 32 state will remain,” Manibe continued.
“We again made written submissions to it indicating that it is objectionable for us unless those concerns are addressed. We are not going to initial that document.”
However, cabinet affairs minister Dr Martin Elia Lomuro, who is in Khartoum, has reiterated president Kiir’s commitment to bring peace to South Sudan.
“I know there are people in the opposition and maybe also in the government who don’t want peace, but the president has decided that there must be peace, and we have decided, we are determined to make sure that this peace we are going to take home prevail,” he said.
Dr Martin went further to say that those who declined to initial the deal should give peace a chance:
“Anybody who doesn’t want peace should either stay out of government until elections come, or keep quite. Let the people of South Sudan have peace.”
The final signing on power sharing and governance agreement will take place on 5th August 2018.
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