South Sudanese rebels to send ‘advance team’ to Juba

Addis Ababa/Pagak, November 7, 2015 (SSNA) — The National Liberation Council (NLC) of the armed opposition led by Former South Sudanese Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny will send an advance team of 500 people to Juba to start the implementation of the IGAD-Plus’s compromise peace agreement, rebel leadership has announced.

“National Liberation Council (NLC) of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) has resolved to dispatch to Juba an advance team of 500 cadres to be led by senior officials. Our leadership is committed to the full implementation of the peace agreement,” a statement released by the rebel leadership Spokesperson James Gatdet Dak said.

The rebel leadership asserts that it expects its team, which will be led by senior leaders of the armed opposition to be find what it describes as “conducive environment” in Juba and in other States, adding that constitutional amendments must be made as required by the power-sharing deal.

“Our advance team should find conducive environment for the implementation of the peace agreement without obstacles. It is only through mechanisms provided for in the peace accord that amendments shall be made in the constitution,” the text further stated.

In the document, rebels reject government’s 28 states order, call on Kiir to revoke it, and added that the decree violates the peace agreement.

The leadership of the armed opposition also says its advance team will visit nine states as part of its commitment to spread the message of peace and its implementation and urges Juba to do the same. Rebels further revealed that a transitional government of national unity will be formed between mid-December 2015 and the 15th of January 2016.

The peace pact calls on South Sudan’s rival factions to form a unity government within 90 days after the agreement was signed.

However, rebels warn that the formation of a transitional government of national unity depends on progress made on the “progress made in the initial phases of the implementation.” The armed opposition also says its leader Dr. Machar will only return to Juba to form a coalition government with Kiir when ‘other political, security and logistical challenges are resolved in accordance’ with the internationally-backed peace deal.

This week, media reports suggest that that rebel leader Machar will travel to Juba next week with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Rebels dismissed the report as "mere fabrication."

The rebel leadership didn’t say exactly when it will send its advance team to Juba.

The SPLM/A-IO’s leadership has this week convened a consultative conference in the rebel headquarters, Pagak. The meeting is designed to educate military Generals and civilians about the peace and its implementation.

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