October 13, 2018 (JUBA) – The leader of the SPLM Former Detainees (FDs) Pagan Amum said he does not support the revitalized peace agreement and would not participate in its enforcement but vowed to dedicate his efforts to restore peace and to create a suitable environment for freedoms and dialogue.
- Former SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum attends his court trial in the South Sudan capital, Juba, on 11 March 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Andreea Campanu)
In a meeting held in Nairobi last weekend, the FDs ratified the revitalized peace agreement that they signed on 12 September with the government, SPLM-IO, SSOA- Changson and OPP.
Last September, four SSOA factions issued a statement announcing their rejection for the revitalized deal. The signature of Pagan Amum appeared among the signatures of the holdout groups’ leaders, but his position remained unclear as the FDs delegation to the peace talks was among the signatories.
In statements to Sudan Tribune about his position from the agreement, Pagan confirmed that it was ratified by his group but he declined to follow them on this respect, saying he would campaign to preserve South Sudan independence.
“This Agreement is endorsed by the FDs in the recent meeting in Nairobi. But as a matter of principle, it is impossible for me to endorse it, or participate in its mechanisms,” he said.
“I will rather focus my energies together with those who are concerned about campaigning to protect our independence and territorial integrity, exposing Sudan, Uganda and the regime in Juba,” he further stressed.
To better explain his position Pagan went to say this agreement is a victory for President as it consolidates his regime with the support of Sudan and Uganda which are a pursuit of their own interests.
“Kiir gave a lot of concessions to Khartoum and Kampala to guarantee his “chair” in J1. What is the cost of these concessions? and what are the negative effects of these agreements on our people and country? These agreements between Sudan and Uganda on South Sudan and between the government of Sudan and the regime in Juba are the cause of our concern,” he said.
Furthermore, Pagan said the revitalized agreement will not address the root causes of the South Sudanese crisis, and will not bring justice or accountability ” as that is made clear in government recent statement on Hybrid Court.”
This agreement will not “help us achieve national reconciliation and healing with Kiir’s division of the country into 32 clans and tribal states, where tribal lands are grabbed,” he added.
OPPORTUNITY FOR DIALOGUE
The former SPLM Secretary-General told Sudan Tribune that if we take the Khartoum peace agreement as an opportunity to engage in dialogue, “there is a possibility for peace but this will only depend on Kiir”.
He underlined they were always against this “devastating and senseless war” in South Sudan and what they can do is to campaign and bring pressures on President Kiir and other warring parties to end it.
“We must badger them to stop the senseless killings and persuade them to turn to free and open dialogue. Creating an environment where rule of law and respect for freedom of expression and truth-telling to solve our problems is the only viable and best option,” he emphasized.
He said their group have been always for dialogue alluding to the period before the eruption of the armed conflict in the country when they joined Machar together with Madame Rebecca Garang calling for democratic reforms in the new country.