A South Sudanese lobby group has cautioned the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) against rewarding the opposition military generals who deserted their bosses and declared themselves leaders of their factions.
The Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO), in a statement, said the split among the armed opposition presented a major setback to the peace process.
“CEPO calls upon Igad-Sudan mediation process not to reward the culture of political splits for delaying the peace," said the statement.
"South Sudanese are tired of the on-going violence because of individuals' love for political power.
"The culture of political groups splitting up is a clear demonstration of the potential to obstruct peace and stability,” said the statement.
The rebel military deserters include Gen Khalid Boutros and Major Gen Julius Tabule of the National Salvation Front (NAS), led by Gen Thomas Cirilo, and Gen Agany Abdel- Bagi Ayii of the South Sudan Patriotic Movement/Army (SSPM/A), led by Dr Costello Garang Riny.
The deserters declared themselves leaders of their splinter factions and claimed that their bosses (Gen Cirilo and Dr Riny) were opposed to the peace initiative in Khartoum.
CEPO Executive Director Edmund Yakani stressed that the culture of lust for power among the political and military elites should be stopped immediately.
“The mindset of rivalling for political power through shortcuts is getting entrenched among the political-military groupings in South Sudan. This is a dangerous demonstration of nurturing dictatorship at the expense of democracy in our society,” Mr Yakani said.
The Juba-based activist further urged the South Sudanese political-military elites to demonstrate their desire for a peaceful and stable country by taking responsibility for their political differences and making effective compromises for peace.