July 31, 2018 (JUBA) – Deng Alor, a leading member of the opposition Former Detainees (DFs) group said they will sign the governance agreement next Sunday with some reservations related to the issues of contention which will be settled in the next round of talks.
- Deng Alor Kuol (File photo)
Speaking to the Voice of America radio programme “South Sudan in Focus”, Alors disclosed that their group has changed its mind and decided to sign the agreement on outstanding issues on governance after refusing to initial it on 25 July with the government and the SPLM-IO.
He said they will sign with reservations the agreement to not obstruct the peace process and will sit after that with the government to resolve in the next round of talks the issues that have been bracketed.
“The most important is that all these people are going to sign but with reservations that should be bracketed,” the opposition leader said.
Alor stressed that they want the South Sudanese to be aware of their concerns including the incredibility of the referendum on the 32 states to be conducted before the end of the eight (8) months Pre-Transitional Period.
“Within 5 months you cannot conduct a referendum because who is going to be responsible for that referendum? It is the current government and this is the reason we are saying no, this is not possible,” he stressed.
In line with the revitalized peace deal, the issue over the number of states in South Sudan will be resolved through the Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) which should conclude its works and hand over its report within 90 days.
In case of failure to reach an agreement on the number of states, the IBC shall be transformed into Referendum Commission on Number and Boundaries of States (RCNBS) of the Republic of South Sudan.
“The RCNBS shall work under the direct supervision and support of the African Union and the IGAD, and shall conduct the referendum before the end of the agreed eight (8) months Pre-Transitional Period,” says the agreement initialled on 25 July.
Alor further said they want to review the ratios of power-sharing at the level of states. He said they want to increase the percentage of the opposition at the state level from 35 to 45 per cent.
SSOA spokesperson Kwaje Lasu reiterated to Sudan Tribune that the opposition umbrella sticks to its position on agreement on the outstanding issue on governance.
“We in SSOA are standing our ground until our positions are addressed, nothing more nothing less,” he wrote in a message to the Sudan Tribune.
Last Monday President said they will continue to discuss the few outstanding issues with the opposition groups and to ensure that peace returns in the country.