Juba, August 25, 2015 (SSNA) — South Sudanese president Salva Kiir, Vice President James Wani Igga, and key figures of government are sharply divided over the IGAD-Plus’s compromise peace agreement, a confidential government source with full knowledge of the discussions and who demanded anonymity for fear of reprisal has told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).
The source revealed that intense discussions on whether or not Kiir should sign the Pact have been ongoing for days without conclusion, saying that the talks have become combative with the SPLA Chief of General Staff Paul Malong Awan leading the rebellious faction. The source added that the discussions have simply turned into a squabble between Kiir and Malong.
“We are here to choose between peace and war. So let us debate this issue and come up with a resolution. Now it’s your turn,” Kiir told the attendees at the meeting hall packed with senior political, military, and security officials.
After Kiir opened the security summit, Paul Malong raised his hand and started talking.
“If you [Kiir] want to surrender to Riek Machar, then go and sign that deal,” the visibly furious Paul Malong told Kiir.
“I am not for this anti-government deal. Anybody who wants to sign-up for it should declare him or herself right now,” Malong demanded.
The source said minutes after Malong finished talking, the room was in complete silence, everybody seemed not interested in saying anything.
Then, Kiir, who suddenly became nervous in the debate room asked VP Wani to say something.
“Of course, Your Excellency,” Wani replied.
“You know, H. E. President kiir is our constitutionally elected President. So we should all support any option he chooses,” James Wani told the gathering.
The source disclosed to the SSNA that senior government’s officials have so far conducted three discussions over the IGAD-Plus’s compromise pact but failed to agree on one choice: peace or war.
The government source went even further saying that Malong and Kiir are effectively running the government with different views and that the normal talk between the two men is at its lowest. The source also revealed that talks of an imminent coup planned by Paul Malong and his allies dominate South Sudan’s capital; prompting kiir to ask IGAD to deliver to him the peace document so that he can sign it in Juba.
The source also informed the SSNA that Salva kiir worries about signing the peace deal because his most powerful allies could turn against him.
On August 17, South Sudanese rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar and Former political detainee Pagan Amum signed the IGAD-Plus’s final proposal.
Kiir declined to sign the deal minutes after Machar signed and then asked to be given fifteen days to make necessary consultations with his allies. The IGAD-Plus agreed to Kiir’s request giving him until September 1 to sign the deal.