S Sudan opposition rejects proposed peace deal

South Sudan’s opposition alliance has rejected a proposed peace deal that was unveiled to them in neighboring Uganda on Saturday arguing that the pact does not address the suffering of the people of South Sudan.


The nine-member South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) said in a statement on Monday that the Entebbe proposal does not address the root causes of the ongoing conflict, lacks inclusivity and is a repeat of the shattered 2015 peace agreement.


The proposed agreement calls for creation of four vice presidents, with former Deputy President Riek Machar reinstated as First Vice President, increment of government ministries from the current 30 to 45 and increasing parliamentary seats to 550.


The proposal also declined to grant the East African country federalism status and instead maintained the controversial 32 states.


“It is crystal clear that the Entebbe meeting was focusing on power-sharing instead of addressing the fundamental issues of governance.


For that reason, we absolutely reject these proposals as they do not serve the interests of the suffering people of South Sudan,” the group said.


Last month, President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in the Sudanese capital Khartoum and pledged to end the more than four years of fighting.


But the pact was broken just hours after it took effect and the parties have been trading blames with each other.


Khartoum is leading mediation efforts spearheaded by East African regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in a bid to find political solution to the South Sudan conflict.


South Sudan descended into civil war in the late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.


The United Nations (UN) estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally. -Xinhua


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