19th January 2020
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IGAD to discuss non-signatories

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: 3 months ago

United South Sudan Opposition Movements representatives pose after a meeting in Netherlands on Aug 30, 2019 | Credit | FB

Plans are underway to engage the armed opposition groups in the peace process, a representative of the regional body, IGAD, has said.

There are two main armed opposition hold-out groups in South Sudan.

The National Salvation Front, headed by General Thomas Cirilo, and the South Sudan United Front headed by General Paul Malong have clashed with the government in some areas in Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal regions.

The group says the current revitalized peace agreement does not address the root causes of the conflicts in South Sudan.

Besides that, generanls Malong and Cirilo teamed up with Pagan Amum, Cirino Hiteng and Oyai Deng Ajak of the Real-SPLM to launch a new political group – the South Sudan Opposition Movement.

“IGAD is very much aware of the public apprehension and concerns about the engagement of non-signatories to the peace agreement,” Khalif Shabell, IGAD advisor told the media Wednesday.

“But I wish to state here that next week in Khartoum, there will be joint regional special envoys’ meeting and they will deliberate and discuss how they are going to engage with Cirilo and Malong.”

There are calls for the hold-out groups to use political means to pursue their agenda rather than violence.

These include church leaders, civil society groups and foreign diplomats.

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