MALONG Meets with IGAD team
IGAD team meet SSUF/A Leader Paul Malong in Nairobi (Courtesy photo)
By Moses Gum
South Sudan’s Former Army Chief Gen. Paul Malong Awan and the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan Ambassador Ismail Waismet yesterday in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi over peace implementation.
Last week IGAD special envoy first met General Thomas Cirilo Swaka, the leader of National Salvation Front (NAS) in an effort to have him join the peace process.
Malong was left out of the Revitalized Peace Agreement but he was contacted in recent efforts by IGAD to include all those who did not sign the agreement to join the peace process.
Gen. Malong turned rebellious to the government months after he was relieved from his position. He formed a new rebel movement known as South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A).
The meeting was to engage Gen. Malong on how he could join the peace process.
According to a proposal by IGAD seen by Juba Monitor, the regional bloc instructed that Malong and his group should join the R-ARCSS by aligning with other political parties in the agreement.
It stated that SSUF/A should join in the implementation of R-ARCSS without further asking for renegotiation of the agreement.
IGAD team asked Gen. Malong’s group not to complicate things and to accept alignment orgo back to Juba to wait for elections.
According to IGAD proposal,SSUF/A should denounce violence and commit to the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement (PCTSA) or else they will be branded as Peace spoilers.
A senior aide in Malong’s group said they could not align to a signatory party to the agreement as proposed by IGAD; which he said would be seen as giving upthe movement.
“Our position to the proposals: We cannot abandon our movement because we have objectives and ideals. Realigning with others means giving up what the movement stood for,” a statement seen by Juba Monitor said.
“If the R-ARCSS cannot be reopened then how can we implement or endorse it when we are not aparty to it,” the statement added.
The close ally to Gen. Malong said since the establishment of SSUF/A, they had given dialogue a fair chance despite having armed movement and that IGAD should not intimidate them.
However, Malong’s group still demand reopening of the agreement for renegotiation to address grievances.
On Friday last week, IGAD held similar meetings with opposition holdout leader Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka engaging him to join the peace process.
The two groups were said to have failed to reach a solution but another meeting is slated for tomorrow,Thursday.
The agreement need to be reopened for renegotiation to meet people’s aspirations. So we urged the regime to accept to end the suffering of the people and safeguard the lives”, the official in Malong camp said.