Speaking at a briefing in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, South Sudan rebel chief, Riek Machar said, he did not sign peace for war to continue but to end it.
“The signed compromise agreement will not be renegotiated because almost all the stakeholders signed the document including the IGAD PLUS, civil society organization, Former detainees or FDs, Uganda president and faith group.”
Last week, Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta called the two heads of the negotiating teams on both sides in Nairobi to see if they could re-open the document for renegotiation but General Taban Deng and Nhial Deng Nhial rejected it.
“We are for peace, we need a stable country where we should have real democratically elected government through ballot box after the pre transitional period. The current document addresses most parts on South Sudan conflicts such as federal system of governance, security arrangement, transformational institutions and formation of hybrid court,” Machar says.
He called on President Salva Kiir to come to Addis by next Tuesday and sign his part for the peace to be restored in the republic of South Sudan.
Kiir refused to put his signature on the agreement asking for 15 days to first consult.
“If Salva fails and refuses to sign it, then the world would be force to declare Salva Kiir as the enemy of peace,” Machar added.
“SPLM party is for peace and we should aim for change in the republic of South Sudan, respect of human rights and cultural diversity. We would declare it to the whole world that we commit for peace, politically and economically,” he said.
Machar said there is need for serious work on this peace, where IGAD should work tirelessly to avoid sanctions which are at the corner to be imposed on our country.
Sanctions, he said, are always difficult to be reversed, it takes time to reverse upon which he asked Juba government to sign peace to avoid arms embargo, travel ban and flight zone restriction imposed on the country.
SPLM I O has already kicked off the propaganda for peace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and have said yes to peace.
Terms of the agreement that Kiir refused to sign
Foreign allied troops fighting alongside the government would be withdrawn from South Sudan territory within 45 days after the signature as incorporated in this agreement.
Juba will be demilitarized and the neutral forces would be formed.
Joint police on both sides and National security would be formed to take major towns especially Bentiu, Bor, Malakai as well as Juba.
These neutral forces will be handled by joint command during the transitional period, reconstruction and compensation funds will go for 3 years during the transitional government for the three states of Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity.
Issue of Jonglei state.
Several questions were raised about Jonglei and many were asking why it is given back to the government.
In response, Machar stated “you cannot get 100 percent of your demands in negotiation, you should succeed somewhere and fail at some points”.
First SPLM –IO was given 53 % in power sharing in three states of Greater Upper Nile including Jonglei state and government with 33%, FDs with 7% and other political parties were given 7% but later on, figures changed, IGAD changed it to 40 % for SPLM-IO, 46% for the government, 7% for FDS and 7% for other political parties and gave the governor of Jonglei to the government of which we protested, but IGAD said it made the decision.
Before SPLM I O was having zero percent in seven states of South Sudan but during the negotiation time, opposition got 15% in those states.
“When I asked IGAD PLUS why they changed the first document? They said that it’s their decision,” Machar noted.
Salva Kiir has Zero capacity
“Those who have Zero capacity should be removed from the system because they failed us,” pointed out the deputy chairperson of SPLM and commander in- chief of SPLA, General Alfred Lado Gore.
He was speaking to thousands of South Sudanese who gathered at the peace rally in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
“Salva Kiir has zero capacity and that’s why he failed us. South Sudan need leaders with enough capacity to push this country forward. When we go to Juba, because we must go there, we should be well disciplined nationalists to make a significant change politically in our young nation.”
He said the conflict in South Sudan is a national crisis which needs a national solution calling for federalism.
General Gore told the participants in Addis Ababa.
We need a good preparation for a total change in our country when we return to Juba because nothing would prevent us from doing it.General Lado assured the public that he would go to Juba before his chairman as the advance team. I would be going to Juba and it would be only through my recommendation to allow our chairman to visit Juba.
Salva Kiir wants this war on tribal basis between Nuer and Dinka but this war is a national war because it killed everybody in South Sudan. The current document that was signed is good for all of us even those who haven’t gone to the bush will have freedom when federal system is introduced. General told the people at the rally.
General Gore called for unity among South Sudanese particularly the opposition members.
“Our enemy now is not the government outside there, but those who are here among us trying to create division among us are the first enemy.”
“Within the period of 18 month when we have had our army separated, we should make use of it. Whatever, percentage that we have been given now even if its 5% from all states in South Sudan, we shall make use of it properly to get 100 % next time when elections are held.”
Daniel Wour Joak, the SPLM/ IO representative to Norway and Scandinavia told the gathering that the opposition should have to accept the peace for the reason, “we have many people specially Nuer and Shiluk who are now taking shelter under the UN protections sites or UNMISS across the country”.
She said this was why SPLM IO signed the peace.
“We need those people to come out and we need them to be free. When we signed the peace it doesn’t means that it’s the end of war but we should do it for the sake of our people specially the mothers who are now living in bad condition in UN camps in the neighboring countries.”
Nyayual Gatkuoth who spoke on behalf of women said that there was need to consider the suffering of the people in UNMISS Bases in Bentiu, Bor, Juba and Malakal.