South Sudanese rebels say government’s provocations will not deter their commitment to peace; warn against return to war

Juba/Pagak, January 19, 2016 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s rebels said they are committed to the implementation of the internationally-brokered power-sharing deal, SPLM’s reunification agreement, and that members of the SPLM/A-IO should not accept propagandas and provocations spread around by government hardliners.

Mabior Garang de Mabior, the son of South Sudanese revered leader late Dr. Jonh Darang de Mabior, said the armed opposition is in Juba to execute the pact regardless of incitements that are being encouraged by Salva kiir’s government.

“The SPLM/SPLA-In Opposition advance team is in Juba to implement the agreement, dispite the many provocations by hardliners in the government,” Mabior said in a statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

Mabior, who is the Chairman of SPLM/A-IO’s national committee for information and public relations, also stated that rebel advance team has sent a group to Pagak for a consultative meeting and that people should not panic.

“The movement has dispatched a team to Pagak for consultations with the leadership and shall soon return to continue with the implementation of the peace agreement. This should not be cause for alarm,” he revealed.

Most supporters of the armed opposition have recently been vocal against the way the SPLM/A-IO handles the issue of Kiir’s 28 states expansion plan, demanding that Pagak completely reject Juba’s 28 states plan and ask that the rebel leadership reactivates the 21 states scheme which was first proposed by the rebels.

South Sudan’s President issued a decree in October last year, creating 28 states. Kiir also appointed 28 Governors in December of 2015 just two days after rebel advance team arrived in Juba.

Kiir’s move has been harshly criticized by the armed opposition including the international community, saying the order violates the IGAD-Plus’s compromise peace agreement.

The rebel senior official also reiterates SPLM/A-IO’s commitment to peace and urges rebel members and supporters not to “entertain a return to war.”

The SPLM/A-IO’s dispatched team has arrived this afternoon and will convene a consultative meeting with the rebel leadership tomorrow (Wednesday).

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