20th March 2019
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NAS leader turns down IGAD invitation

Author: Alhadi Awari | Published: 2 weeks ago

Former Army Gen. Thomas Cirilo

The leader of National Salvation Front has refused to attend an IGAD meeting scheduled to take place in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis Ababa, on Friday.

On March 1, IGAD wrote an invitation letter, requesting leaders of the holdout groups to show up for the meeting.

These are the former chief staff, General Paul Malong Awan; and NAS leader, General Thomas Cirilo.

The IGAD Council of Ministers made this decision during its 66 extraordinary session in Addis Ababa in December last year.

In the session, the Council directed the IGAD special envoy for South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais, to reach out to the stakeholders who are not signatories to the new deal.

In response to the invitation, the spokesman of NAS, Suba Samuel, said IGAD first needs to respond to a letter it demanded the South Sudan National Democratic Alliance of which NAS is member to write, explaining why they have refused to sign the agreement.

“We are expecting IGAD to respond to that letter but they have not yet responded….”

Besides, he said the letter is only addressed to Thomas Cirilo, excluding the other members of the SSND.

“It not possible for the meeting on the 8th because when you look at that letter it’s addressed to the leader of National Salvation Front,” Mr Suba said.

The other holdout groups are yet to comment on the IGAD invitation.