Thomas Cirillo Swaka, South Sudan’s prominent opposition leader has refused to sign the peace deal with the government. According to the National Salvation Front (NAS), the opposition group, there are some key points at issue right at the end of the peace deal that may escalate to grave conflicts.
Even when South Sudan Official Alliance (SSOA) reluctantly initialed the peace deal, NAS, a member of SSOA made it clear that they are not a part of it. Cirillo stressed that the IGAD Summit must address their reservations.
The South Sudanese government currently enjoys far-reaching powers over state governments and national policies. This abuse of power doesn’t sit well with true Federalism, which is a dire ‘demand’ of the country, according to Cirillo. A proper federal system will fairly distribute powers throughout the state governments, devolving them from the centre. He sent out a clear message to the people of South Sudan that his party would never act with a corrupt government, so long as it kills and eliminates its own people. As a veteran General who once fought alongside the Khartoum government, Cirillo, now the opposition leader expressed his deep wish to see peace and justice.
South Sudan witnessed half-a-decade of civil war that left the country in ruins. Nearly half of the people are still languishing in refugee camps as intense hunger wreaks havoc. Amnesty International also accused the government for torturing and punishing detainees based on their political and ethnic associations.
The government, however, negated all accusations as the President has vowed to release political prisoners under the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement Between Parties of the Conflict in South Sudan.
A spokesperson of NAS, pointed out that even the Khartoum round of talks haven’t addressed the root causes of the ongoing conflict. Nonetheless, the group has restated their commitment to negotiate and discuss their reservations to bring peace and stability in South Sudan.