S. Sudan agrees on unified consultation: official

JUBA, Oct. 12 — A senior South Sudanese official on Wednesday
said various parties that make up the transitional unity government (TGoNU)
have agreed to joint consultation during the upcoming peace deal
revitalization by the regional body Intergovernmental Authority on
Development (IGAD).

“We have already received the IGAD letter on revitalization and without
prejudice to other parties to be consulted, we have agreed to be consulted
as the TGoNU,” said Michael Makuei, Minister of Information in Juba. This
came after an earlier call by Dhieu Mathok, a senior member of the Sudan
People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) faction led by First
Vice President Taban Deng Gai urging unified consultation instead of
reaching out to individuals separately. “Automatically the government
(TGoNU) must be consulted not as individuals. We are not negotiating the
peace agreement, we are revitalizing the peace agreement and TGoNU is
significant mechanism of implementation of this peace agreement,” Mathok
earlier said.

The High-Level Revitalization Forum that will start on Oct. 13-17 in Juba
was launched in June in a bid to resuscitate the weakened peace agreement
in the wake of the renewed July clash last year, by including the main
SPLA-IO faction led by former First Vice President Riek Machar and other
newly formed armed groups. Meanwhile, the SPLM- Former Political
Detainees (SPLM-FDs) leadership under Pagan Amum said they are in favor of
separate consultation despite having two members in the TGoNU cabinet.South
Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute
between President Kiir and his former deputy Machar led to fighting that
pitted mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Salva Kiir against Machar’s
Nuer ethnic group. The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again
violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the
capital, forcing Machar to flee into exile. The conflict has killed tens of
thousands of people and displaced millions others. – XINHUA