Riek Machar, the former vice president turned rebel leader, reiterated his demand that Juba welcome a 609-person advance team ahead of additional implementation of the peace deal signed in August.
The leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) is quoted by Radio Tamazuj saying the advance team has sorted out logistics and accommodation and is currently waiting in Pagak for permission to travel to Juba.
The SPLM-IO had earlier complained that they could not afford the cost of the travel and lodging and were looking to the international community to provide financial support.
Now Machar is accusing Juba of “showing its lack of commitment to the implementation of the agreement by refusing to receive our advance delegation.”
The government had earlier said it was prepared to receive the SPLM-IO representatives, who were originally scheduled to arrive in Juba as early as November.
Machar’s jab at Juba came at the end of a press release marking the second anniversary of the start of the ongoing conflict dubbed “black Monday of 16th December”, in which the brutal regime in Juba committed massacres, heinous crime and ethnic cleansing.
“We are marking this day of remembrance with great sadness for the loss of lives and the suffering caused by this senseless and unjustifiable war,” he wrote.
But also said there was “a sense of hope for a better future now that an agreement is signed to finally bring an end to the two-year war.”
The International Human Rights Organization, UN Reports and the Report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan Conflict documented these crimes.
The Nuer and other South Sudanese were targeted in a mayhem, where over twenty thousands civilians were killed in one week under a pretext that a coup was foiled, a narrative that the whole world has dismissed.
“They are heroes and heroines and did not deserve to be stripped of their lives and dignity, others were humiliated to an extent of being forced to eat the flesh of their dead kin after which they were shot while the survivors were made to seek refuge at the UN protection camps in their own capitals.”
Despite the opposition’s determination to avoid a war, Machar said, they realized the regime had prepared itself to wage a war of ethnic cleansing against one nationality in South Sudan.
“The regime invited the Ugandan forces and Sudanese rebels in the first day of the crisis to fight on its side. We were left with no option but to defend ourselves.”
On December 25, 2015, in Gadiang, Jonglei State the SPLM/SPLA leadership decided to transform this tragedy into a national struggle for freedom, democracy, federalism, federalism and transformation of our society and nation.
In Nasir conference, April 15, 2014, the SPLM/SPLA was launched in confirmation of the Gadiang decision.
This conference also made a historic declaration to adopt federal system of governance in South Sudan in recognition of federalism as being a popular demand of the people of South Sudan since the 1947 Juba conference as the best system ensuring Unity in diversity.
In Pagak Conference, December 8, 2014, South Sudan was divided into 21 states mirroring the former South Sudan districts of South Sudan post-independence.
“Since April 2014, our negotiations in IGAD Mediated Peace Talks were guided by the Principles of establishing a federal system of governance in South Sudan,” he wrote.
“The two years struggle and negotiations have resulted into the signature of the “Agreement on the Resolutions of the Conflict in South Sudan” on 17th August 2015 and 26th August 2015 by SPLM/SPLA and the Juba regime, respectively.”
Machar says the agreement signed between himself and South Sudan President, Salva Kiir, has embodied the long-awaited demand for federal system of government.
“It has ushered in institutional reforms and for those who lost their loves one and property will get compensated. By this agreement justice and accountability will prevail and culture of impunity will be a practice of the past.”
He said the process of national reconciliation and healing is central and obligatory.
“No doubt national reconciliation will be the most difficult but not impossible. In order for the people of South Sudan to heal the wounds of this tragic and senseless war, end the suffering and build a strong nation per this agreement, there is need for the people to rise above the abuses and atrocities of the past two years and together face the challenge of bringing peace and harmony back to our country.”
He called upon the people to forgive one another and forward to better future.
“I wish to inform all South Sudanese people who the SPLM/SPLA has prepared its 609 Advance Team waiting in Pagak to go to Juba. Our Team is ready and all logistics for transportation and accommodation are in place.”
He called upon the International Community to exert pressure to make the regime commit to the implementation of the agreement and once and for all to end the unnecessary suffering the regime continues to inflict on innocent civilians.
“The regime has violated the agreement by pursuing unprovoked attacks and air raids using helicopter gunships on our assembly and cantonment areas as well as in the population centers in the three greater regions of the Republic of South Sudan.”
He said the regime must unconstitutionally accept the going to Juba of the SPLM/SPLA Advance Team, immediate formation of the TGONU and to stop obstructing the process of the implementation of agreement.