Regional leaders urged to unite S. Sudan opposition to end war

December 6, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s government on Wednesday urged regional leaders involved in the revitalization forum to ensure all armed and non-armed opposition unite to end the country’s nearly four-year conflict.

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S. Sudan cabinet affairs minister Martin Elia Lomoro (Photo KT Press)

The cabinet affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomuro said the coalition government is ready to participate in the revitalization forum, but stressed that it was important if the regional leaders unite the various opposition faction so that there are two views to be harmonized.

“It is the expressed view of the government that the revitalization forum should harmonize the views of the stakeholders. The views of the government are clear. They are expression of commitment to ending war and it is in this context that council of ministers made it clear during the consultation with IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] foreign ministers that it is important they unite the opposition so that they also have clear views,” Lomuro said Wednesday.

He further added, “If the views are clear, then it will be possible to talk and narrow down positions and it would be easy to harmonise. And that will be the only way to end this [war] situation”.

According to the minister, IGAD rescheduled the launch of the high-level revitalization forum to 15 December in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

In June, a summit of IGAD heads of state and government decided to convene a meeting of the signatories of the South Sudan peace agreement to discuss ways to revitalize the peace implementation. During the June summit, it was agreed that all groups be included in the discussion aimed at restoring a permanent ceasefire.

IGAD unveiled the timetable for the revitalization forum with South Sudanese leaders and the citizens, which ended on 17 October.

The South Sudanese government earlier warned that the revitalization forum by the regional bloc, which mediated the 2015 peace deal, should not be another platform for negotiations of the peace accord between the two factions to the conflict.

Over a million people have fled South Sudan since conflict erupted in December 2013 when President Kiir sacked Machar from the vice-presidency. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million displaced in South Sudan’s worst violence since it seceded from Sudan in July 2011.