South Sudan opposition groups reject Igad power deal

Wednesday May 23 2018

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOSEPH ODUHA
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The South Sudanese opposition factions have rejected a power sharing proposal by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) at their meeting in Ethiopia.

The stand, spearheaded by the Riek Machar-led armed group, puts the peace talks in jeopardy as the young nation sinks deeper into a crisis.

The Dr Machar's Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) envoy to Tanzania, Mr Peter Kleto, said in a statement on Wednesday, that the regional bloc had not invested deeper thinking into the proposal, which gives more powers to the Juba government.

The Igad proposal, Mr Kleto said further, excludes key reforms in the governance system, does not reflect inclusivity and ignores altogether the Local Government level.

"It fails to address the issues of accountability and attempts to usurp the powers of accountability and on the basis of the above, it is one-sided and cannot claim to be a bridging proposal."

Igad on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, presented a formula, giving the president and the vice-president posts to President Salva Kiir's faction.

The Dr Machar faction was given the post of first vice-president, with the third vice-president going to all the other political parties.

“On the presidency, I don’t’ think it is necessary to create a third vice-president position because the president and FVP and VP positions will represent the three regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el-Ghazal regions,” Mr Kleto said.

The creation of the third vice-president position, he noted, would allow the Juba regime to influence and dominate decision making in the presidency.

His statement also objected to the expansion of the cabinet to 42 members in the face of the current biting economic crisis.

“We are not negotiating for positions, but in good governance, this must be made clear.

“Now we are saying the entire government must be dissolved and reconstituted because its mandate has expired," he said.

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