South Sudan says deal with opposition group didn’t violate peace pact

Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomoro (front). Photo by Ruot George.

By Ruot George

South Sudan has defended a recent agreement reached with a splinter group of the main opposition, SPLM-IO as not against the pact being implemented in the country.

The government signed an agreement with the so called Kitgwang faction that calls for ceasing hostilities and promoting peace.

“This engagement is under the term of the 21st December 2017 cessation of hostility agreement, the parties are obliged under article 2.3 to engage any holdout group to bring them for peace,” the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro told reporters in Juba on Thursday.

Lomoro said agreement signed on January 16 was done in a consultative decision taken by President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar who heads the SPLM-IO to protect the peace agreement from collapse.

The interim chairman of the peace monitoring body, the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, Lt. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai warned that deal may not be in line with the country’s peace pact.

“Any defections or accepting defections by armed groups is contrary to the letter and spirit of the agreement,” Gituai said in Juba.

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