Riek Machar, former Vice president, leader of SPLM-IO has finally ratified the peace deal with rivaling opposition group, SSOA. The signatures took place on Tuesday after by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir pledged commitment to negotiate concerns with the leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The two conflicting parties, led by President Kiir and Vice-president Riek Machar, respectively have been the cause of severe riots and violence in South Sudan. The country has had a difficult time recovering from the brutal civil war that has left thousands to rot in refugee camps.
Nonetheless, with a fair share of reservations, Riek Machar agreed to sign the peace deal with the hopes that the key concerns of his party will be discussed and tackled by IGAD leaders in the upcoming meeting.
Following the influx of members in the government and the legislative assembly, both the opposition groups demanded that the mediators now also modify the quorum of the cabinet.
The number of states in South Sudan has also remained another contention, upon which the opposition parties have decided to evoke Annex D that will initiate a referendum asking the people of South Sudan to choose between either 10 or 32 states. The constitution must also be people-driven and inspired by the true sentiment of democracy.
The final document was initialed by Machar and SSOA leader, Gabriel Changson under the witnessing presence of Foreign Minister El-Dirdeiry Ahmed, Tut Kew Gatlauk – South Sudan’s presidential advisor on security affairs, Salah Gosh – Director of the National intelligence and Security Services, and Wais Ismail – IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan.
Manawa Gatkouth, Deputy Spokesperson to SPLM-IO reiterated again that the peace deal is not sustainable and still so many things remain unacceptable. Hence, the reservations must be discussed to reach a comprehensive agreement.