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S. Sudan’s peace implementation should be governed by constitution: SPLM-IO

October 7, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudan’s armed opposition faction (SPLM/A-IO) has said implementation of the revitalized peace agreement be government by the transitional constitution.

SPLM-IO leader Machar (R) and the head of information office Mabior Garang de Mabior pose for picture on 22 June 2018 (Photo Mabior Granag de Mabior)

South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei was quoted saying incorporating the September peace accord into the transitional constitution was not a priority at the moment.

He said incorporating the peace agreement into the constitution now is “a joke”.

But in a statement issued on Monday, Garang Mabior De Mabior, the SPLM/A-IO chairman for the information and publicity committee dismissed Makuei’s statement.

“If the negotiated peace settlement’ is not governed by any laws, then what kind of a peace are we talking about,” he remarked.

Garang said “coerced” peace will never prevail in South Sudan a national unity government formed minus resolving the outstanding issues is “a mockery of justice”.

“We have tried this in 2016 and it led to the paralysis of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU),” he stressed.

Mabior said statements made by the information minister were contrary to the provisions of the September 2018 peace agreement.

According to the peace accord, the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) is supposed to draft and complete the constitutional bill within 21 days upon the agreement’s signing.

The NCAC was established under Chapter 1 Article 13 of the Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).

Meanwhile, the armed opposition movement said it would continue observing the ceasefire agreement agreed upon by all the warring parties, stressing that this should not be viewed as a “weakness”.

“In light of the recent statements by President Salva Kiir at the prayers in J1, the ominously similar statements of the UN Special Envoy, the unserious utterances of the Minister of Information of President Salva Kiir and the counter insurgency tactics of the regime’s security organs, a clear indication that peace has collapsed,” said Mabior.

“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) shall not be responsible for the obvious outcome and we reserve the natural right of self-defense,” he stressed.

South Sudan plunged into civil war in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused the country’s former vice-president Riek Machar of an attempted coup.

In September last year, however, South Sudan’s arch-rivals signed a revitalized peace agreement to end the country’s civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million.

The rival parties, in May, agreed on a six-month extension to implement next steps in the fragile peace agreement. The latest extension came after the main opposition group threatened to boycott formation of a unity government on May 12.