October 17, 2022 (JUBA) – South Sudan holdout groups are in consultation to form an all-inclusive alliance, adding new members in a bid to coordinate and consolidate their efforts ahead of resumption talks with the Transitional Government of National Unity.
In multiple interviews with Sudan Tribune on Saturday, the leaders of various armed and non-political organizations confirmed they were in consultations to form an all-inclusive and leave no one behind the body to represent in the next phase of negotiation.
“We are in consultation to form a broad and inclusive body. Nobody will be left behind in the formation. The government is benefiting from the divisions which have plagued our ranks which has equally extended to our people and the leadership. The leaders of various organizations have noticed this and we have agreed to put together our acts and present one position, rally behind the issues which caused the war”, explained Henry Odwar, head of the political structure of the breakaway Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) under the chairmanship of Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual.
The former mining minister who resigned his position, citing a lack of commitment to fully implement the terms and provisions of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, said his group has been receiving inputs from other stakeholders including some from the international community and friends of the people of South Sudan asking them to unite and form a broad coalition ahead the talks so that nobody feels left out in the talks.
Peace has not been achieved because government has been invested in divisive policies and engineering piecemeal negotiations and signing peace deals it does not implement.
He confirmed reports that Dual and Gen. Thomas Cirilo agreed to form a new military alliance to coordinate their activities, including in operations and the negotiation process.
On September 15, the leader of the breakaway Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) Kitgwang faction, Gen. Dual met and held talks with Gen. Faiz Ismail, the military chief of staff of the National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Gen. Cirilo.
The meeting aimed at discussing ways of forming alliances at the level of the military.
Ismail, acting on Cirillo’s directive, accepted the proposal and agreed to coordinate all military-related activities, including operations while political activities will be handled by the politicians at the strategic level. The activities of the leadership team include negotiation, carrying out engagement with foreign entities and public mobilisation.
Dual, whose peace deal with President Salva Kiir has not been implemented, recently called for the alliance among holdout opposition groups in a bid to persuade Kiir into either implement the terms of his agreement or gain acceptance to the negotiation process with the holdout groups whose talks are being mediated by the Sant’Egidio community.