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SSOA rejects accusations of being controlled by South Sudan’s Kiir

April 3, 2020 (JUBA) - The leader of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) strongly rejected accusations that the alliance was absorbed by President Salva Kiir’s SPLM, and stressed that esprit of peace requires compromise not continued disagreement.

Josephine Lagu Yanga (ST photo)

Josephine Joseph Lagu issued a statement on Friday in response to recent accusations made by Lam Akol Chairman of National Democratic Movement (NDM) against his allies and hinted that he would forge a new alliance.

"The claim that SSOA has been compromised by government and is singing to the government tune is absurd and is intended to solicit cheap political sympathy," said Lagu in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

She said that the revitalized peace pact, after all, establishes a "political partnership deed" to enforces what was agreed to deliver peace to the people of South Sudan.

"To Dr Lam, this partnership should mean endless disagreements and no compromises," she stressed before to add that SSOA will continue to work in partnership with the other parties to implement the agreement and whenever possible, do it through consensus and compromises.

The NDM did not get a ministerial portfolio among the four positions allocated to the alliance also the position of the vice-president was given to the South Sudan Patriotic Movement because the group is from Bahr el-Ghazal which was the only to not be represented in the collective presidency.

For her part, Lagu claimed that Akol stalled the internal discussions for selection of their nominee and then he came with criteria for the selection of the alliance leaders tailored to impose his candidacy for vice-president.

After what seven of eight SSOA leaders with the exception of NDM leader agreed to submit all the names of the candidates for the position to pick one of them.

" The claim that the President is a party to the agreement and for him to choose the vice president was wrong is baseless," said the leader of the alliance before to emphasize that "the president would choose from among the SSOA leaders, not from outside SSOA".

Joining Holdout Groups

In a tit for tact escalation, the daughter of the leader of the first Anya-Nya said that Akol’s statement about a new alliance can explain why he travelled to Rome to take part in the peace talks between an alliance of holdout groups and the government.

"Perhaps this explains why last year he travelled to Rome to attend the peace talks between government and SSOMA".

"In this case, he needs to come out and declare where his allegiance lies, instead of double-dealing," she further said.

In January 2020, the government of President Salva Kiir and the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) signed the Roma Declaration for peace in South Sudan mediated by the religious community of Sant’Egidio. Following what, on 14 February they recommitted themselves to the cessation of hostilities of December 2017.

(ST)