June 14, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government denied on Tuesday that the summit of the regional leaders has called for a review of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) to accommodate the views of the holdout groups.
- An extraordinary session of the IGAD heads of states meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa (IGAD File photo)
"That is not true. All those reports are misleading. The IGAD communiqué is very clear. You read it again for yourself. From what I read and which is already in the public, it only called for a High-level Revitalization Forum of the parties," cabinet affairs minister Martin Elia Lomuro told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday
"The use of revitalization means not the agreement but the confidence building of the parties to recommit themselves, especially those who decided to not participate in the implementation of the agreement, which is the only means of ending the conflict and bring peace to the country," he further said.
The minister was reacting to reports saying that the IGAD leaders in their extraordinary meeting of Monday agreed on the need to prioritize the ARCSS implementation to the government-led national dialogue process.
Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth told reporters upon arrival at Juba international airport that the regional leaders pledged to support the implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan, not review of the agreement.
“Basically, the revitalization means support to the implementation of the agreement and that’s basically what it is, so the IGAD as guarantors of the agreement they have to make sure that the implementation of the agreement is not delayed,” said Gatkuoth.
“There is nothing called review of the agreement or renegotiation of the agreement or nothing at all in the IGAD meeting. It was clearly stated that the only way for us to bring peace to South Sudan is to implement the agreement that was signed in 2015,” he added.
“It is a bible and nobody will be tempering with it and it has to be implemented as it is, and whoever is holding out not to be part of the process, IGAD will not entertain those people.”
The communiqué seen by Sudan Tribune calls for convening an "urgent High-level Revitalization Forum of the parties to the ARCSS including estranged groups to discuss concrete measures, to restore permanent ceasefire, to full implementation of the Peace Agreement and to develop a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards a democratic election at the end of the transition period".
It mandates the IGAD Council of Ministers to urgently convene and facilitate this forum in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and directs the Chairperson of JMEC and the Executive Secretary of IGAD to provide the necessary secretariat and logistical arrangements.
The SPLM-IO Riek Machar says First Vice President Taban does not represent them in the implementation process. That means they want their leader and other leading figures to participate in the government in line with the power-sharing deal to take part in the implementation process.
They also want to discuss the details of a ceasefire agreement ant to take part in the cease-fire commission etc... For them, all these measures should be implemented before the dialogue or the reconciliation process.
On the other hand, Juba rejects the participation of Riek Machar in the government or the national dialogue but accepts that his group join them in the political process and eventually in the government.