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South Sudan analysts warn opposition protest threatens peace implementation

By Simon Deng

A protest by the main opposition group in South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition on security arrangements, threatens the successful completion of the peace implementation in the country, Abraham Kuol Nyuon, a professor of Political Science at the University of Juba said.

On Tuesday, the SPLM-IO led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar announced it was pulling out from various security mechanisms under the 2018 peace deal citing inaction by peace monitors of the RJMEC as they face attacks from other peace partners.

“This protest is sending a very strong signal to other signatories of the peace agreement that if SPLA-IO is dropping out when the peace agreement is coming to an end, it is going be difficult for the people to get consensus on either the extension of the peace agreement or accomplishing the milestones that are left,” Nyuon told Juba Echo by phone in Juba.

“The IGAD through RJMEC needs to convene a stakeholders meeting with immediate effect so that they deliberate on the best possibility on how to cooperate and work together to operationalize the peace agreement especially the accomplishment of the remaining tasks,” he said.

Reched by phone also, Michael Makuei Lueth, the Minister for Information said the pullout of the SPLA-IO will be resolved through dialogue.

“We are going to sit down with them and discuss the way forward, and it is going to be resolved,” Lueth said.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization said the protest is bound to affect the implementation of the security arrangement.

“The pull out of SPLA-IO from security mechanism has put implementation of security arrangement under suspension and this means the backbone of transforming the country from violentceis suspended,” Yakani said.

“This particular suspension tells you that the principle, the two parties, the SPLA-IO and SPLM-IG have loss trust and confidence,” he said.

“The chance of us falling back to violence is higher than the chances of us expecting peace to prevail.”

Yakani said “what is required now is a quick intervention.”

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