South Sudan president rejects new IGAD proposal
June 17, 2015 (JUBA)- South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has reiterated his rejection of a new peace proposal by Intergovernmental Authority on development (IGAD) mediators, aiming to end the 18-month conflict in which several lives have been lost and millions more displaced since December 2013.
- South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (L) prior to a meeting on 3 March 2015 in Addis Ababa (Photo: AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)
According to the minister at the presidency, Awan Guol Riak, President Kiir told the heads of state and government attending the African union summit in Johannesburg that his government was committed to peaceful settlement of the conflict but the new proposal undermines peaceful coexistence, hardens ethnic sentiments and polarization of the country.
“Regarding the new IGAD proposal, the President of the Republic and our team made reservations and gave them to the African Union. It is our view that some areas of the proposal should be revised or removed and so we felt that it should be returned to the chief negotiators to hold exhaustive discussions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, so that the result of the consultations would be the basis of new proposals and the agenda”, Riak told reporters on Tuesday upon his arrival at Juba international airport from South Africa.
Earlier this month, the mediation proposed a draft agreement that gives the SPLM-IO 33% power-sharing ratio at the national level and 53% in the three states of Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei within the oil-rich greater Upper Nile region.
South Sudanese government officials rejected new proposal pointing it undermined national unity and social cohesion as it put the oil-rich greater Upper Nile region under the control of the opposition faction of the former vice-president, Riek Machar.
Also the rebels who call for a federal system in the country brushed aside the proposal saying it encourages the other two regions of Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria to continue with the war.
The minister explained that issues discussed at the summit were vast and complex. He added that African leaders made significant efforts to address challenges from the wider problems of security and immigration to more specific matters.
The recent 25th African Union (AU) summit discussed xenophobic attacks in South Africa, and the current political upheaval in Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
However, observers have argued that the summit did not come out with significant resolutions especially in the light of the continent turning into part of the world in which some of the leaders are trying to remain in power by changing their countries’ constitutions.
Other questions which have continued to be posed include those asking whether the continental body is achieving its original goals for greater unity and good governance.
The activities of the summit were overshadowed by the presence of Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes and genocide charges.