Africa-Press – South-Sudan. General Johnson Olony, deputy head of the breakaway faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) said on Monday they wanted the upcoming peace talks to involve all parties to the peace agreement.
The breakaway group led by General Simon Gatwech Dual on Saturday met with a government delegation representing President Salva Kiir in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum to pave way for peace talks. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Sudanese government.
In August, the rival group said First Vice President Riek Machar had “completely failed” to show leadership and greatly weakened the SPLM-IO party’s position in the power-sharing deal signed in September 2018. A unity government was formed in February 2020. But even now, critical aspects of the peace deal such as security arrangements, transitional justice, and institutional reforms are behind schedule or completely frozen.
“We have requested Sudan to bring onboard all the parties to the peace agreement so that we negotiate. The meeting we had was just the beginning,” General Johnson Olony told Radio Tamazuj.
When asked about their agenda for the peace talks, General Johnson Olony said: “The talks will focus on the same revitalized peace agreement. We will renegotiate the same agreement, so it will not be a new peace.”
The top general further said his breakaway faction had appointed a six-member delegation to hold talks with the government on critical aspects of the peace deal that are behind schedule or completely ignored.
When asked about the possibility of reconciliation with First Vice President Riek Machar’s SPLA-IO faction, General Johnson Olony said: “We have no problem with Riek Machar, and we have no problem with the South Sudan government. What we want is peace. The government team will consult with President Salva Kiir before we begin the talks.”