Rebel faction demands inclusion in South Sudan peace deal

Monday January 04 2016

President Salva Kiir (left) and SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar shake hands after signing a peace pact in Addis Ababa during an extraordinary AU Summit in 2015. PHOTO | FILE

A breakaway faction of the South Sudan rebels wants to be included in the Compromise Peace Agreement signed last year by President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, a move seen to delay its implementation.

The Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces (FDP/SSAF), the renamed group that split from Machar in July last year, on January 4 sent a delegation of ten to Juba from Nairobi to launch what it calls South-South Dialogue.

The delegation, led by Nyuol Duk, will present its demands to President Kiir whose government appears sympathetic to its inclusion.

FDP/SSAF is led by Gen Peter Gadet and Gen Gatkouth Gatkouth Nyang and its demands could derail the implementation of the Compromise Peace Agreement signed in August last year.

Speaking in Nairobi on early Monday, Gen Nyang said the South Sudan Compromise Peace Agreement left out other armed groups and failed to address the root causes of the conflict.

“We want a comprehensive peace involving all those with grievances and not a compromise that is simply meant to share power. We did not take up arms so that Dr Machar can become the vice president but to address all the issues that has seen South Sudan remain in constant conflict,” said Gen Nyang at a ceremony that saw the group sign an undertaking of goodwill with the Juba administration represented by Major-General Paul Nang Majok.



In its memoranda to be presented to President Kiir, FDP/SSAF wants the killings of about 50,000 Nuer in Juba in December 2013, when the war broke out, be addressed; the prosecution of 75 public officials accused of corruption by the government; the restitution of the monies that has been looted from the government between 2006 and 2013.

They also demand that the peace agreement address the issue of constant insecurity and how to govern the country after 21 months of disruption.

The group —comprising six generals and political leaders— broke away from Dr Machar after Gen Nyang and Gen Gadet were relieved of their positions. They accused Machar of seeking power for himself. However, Gen Nyang said in an interview with The EastAfrican that they were not interested in positions.

Maj-General Majok, representing the government, said Juba had also expressed concerns that the South Sudan Peace Agreement had left out other armed groups and that is why there is still fighting in some states.

“The president had made a commitment to incorporate all those who have taken up arms because of various grievances. The government is ready to address the issues raised for the sake of peace in the country,” said Maj-General Majok.

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The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development –that brokered the peace agreement – is however concerned that FDP/SSAF is being enticed by the government to delay the implementation of the peace agreement.