By Jok P Mayom and James Deng Dimo
JUBA, 19 August, 2015 [Gurtong] – The South Sudanese government is speaking with one voice in the pursuit for peace in the country.
Cabinet Affairs Minister Dr Elia Lomuro told Gurtong that the executive consulted intensively before the departure of President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Sunday for the talks in Addis Ababa.
Also at the meeting were chairpersons of the specialised committees in parliament, political parties and stakeholders.
Dr Lomuro said the consultative meeting aimed reviewing the IGAD Compromise Peace Agreement as the deadline approached.
“The consultation was necessary for the President to take the right course of action based on the advice and views of the key political stakeholders and leaders of the Republic of South Sudan”, said Dr Lomuro.
“All the stakeholders reviewed and reiterated the position they have already sent to the IGAD mediation, including the proposed positions that were provided in the Compromised Peace Agreement for South Sudan”, he said.
He said the President took to Addis the position of the government, governors of the ten states, political parties and parliament in regards to what compromised IGAD Agreement for consideration before the peace agreement is signed.
“We also agreed to establish in clear terms the latest developments in the SPLM-IO camp following reports that thirteen of the generals in the ranks of the rebels had defected and disowned Dr Riek Machar as their leader”, he said.
“We were very concerned with the statement made by Mesfin that if the leaders of South Sudan do not sign the peace Agreement the international community and IGAD will take tough measures against them. This to us sounded like a threat, which should not be condoned in any peace-searching process”, said Dr Lomuro.
Speaking separately, the Western Bahr el Ghazal State Governor Rizik Zackaria Hassan said President Kiir would only sign the peace deal if the terms are agreeable to the South Sudanese government.
He said in Wau that the stand of the government is the finding of an amicable and lasting solution to the conflict in South Sudan.
“Our stand is that South Sudan need a lasting peace deal not an arrangement that will take the country back to war within a short period”, he said.