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Friday, Nov 27th, 2015

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SPLM-IO elects its first Secretary General

Addis Ababa, November 27, 2015 (SSNA) -- The National Liberation Council (NLC) of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) has elected its first Secretary General since the ruling SPLM party divided itself into groups after fighting broke out in Juba in mid-December of 2013.

The SPLM-IO is the political wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO).

The highly contested election was conducted in the rebel headquarters, Pagak. Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, who served as the Chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the SPLM-IO, was overwhelmingly elected as the new Secretary General of the SPLM-IO.

“SPLM/SPLA (IO) leadership wants to announce to its members, supporters and sympathizers worldwide that the National Liberation Council (NLC) of the Movement has elected its Secretary General. Comrade Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol is now the newly elected Secretary General of the Movement,” James Gatdet Dak announced in a statement extended to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

Gatdet praises the election process and said the election was done in a democratic manner, adding that new members were also elected to the SPLM’s Political Bureau and National Liberation Council.

“The election was conducted in a democratic atmosphere during which other officials of the NLC competed in the exercise. Earlier, members to the NLC and Political Bureau (PB) were selected,” he disclosed.

The rebel leadership reaffirms its commitment to peace and welcomes the launch of work of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) led by Former Botswana’s President, Festus Mogae.

Gatdet further revealed a team of 500 cadres of the SPLM/A-IO was ready to travel to Juba and other nine states of the violence-ravaged nation, warning that the travel of advance team to Juba “will depend on resolution of political violations to the Peace Agreement by President Salva Kiir’s government.”

The rebel Spokesperson proclaims that the armed opposition didn’t attend Friday JMEC’s conference because the “venue and timing were not agreed by the parties.”

Early this week, the Troika urged all parties to the conflict to participate in the meeting.

Peace monitors warn of peace deal collapse as fighting rages in Unity State

Juba, November 26, 2015 (SSNA) -- Former Botswana’s President, Festus Mogae, who was chosen in October by the IGAD to head the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) – a body tasked to oversea the implementation of the IGAD-Plus’s compromise agreement, warned that the pact faces imminent collapse if action is not taken.

The JMEC head added that he is concerned about the intensification of fighting in the oil-rich Unity state.

The warning comes as world leaders raise concerns over the failure by South Sudan’s leaders to form a unity government as required by the peace agreement.

Mogae said he is also worries about repeated fighting between South Sudan’s warring factions, adding that the implementation of the power-sharing deal is being threatened by the continuous armed clashes.

“The agreement offers the way forward for a peaceful South Sudan, I urge the parties to accelerate the implementation process,” Mogae told reporters in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

Mogae is in Juba to chair a meeting tomorrow. The conference is designed to start the implementation of the pact.

A deal to stop the nearly two-year old civil war was brokered by the IGAD-Plus in August, raising hope for peace to return to South Sudan.

The pact also calls for the establishment of a transitional government within 90 days.

However, the two rival groups didn't meet the dateline, casting doubts whether or not the agreement will stick.

The United Nations (UN) said “grave violations” have been committed by the rival forces and urges both sides to show leadership.

On Wednesday, Troika countries (Norway, UK, and US) raised concerns over lack of peace implementation and warned of serious humanitarian crisis if South Sudanese leaders failed to implement the deal.

More than 2.3 million South Sudanese fled their homes, hundreds of thousands fled to the neighboring countries, and tens of thousands have been killed.

Juba launches air campaign against rebels in Western Equatoria State

Juba, November 25, 2015 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese government has launched an aerial campaign on rebel positions in Mundri County of Western Equatoria State, a Spokesperson for the armed opposition has said.

James Gatdet Dak, the Spokesman for the leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) has released a statement saying Juba has on Tuesday carried out aerial attack on a SPLA-IO's designated area in Mundri.

“The regime in Juba on Tuesday unleashed helicopter gunships and attacked our designated cantonment area in Mundri County, Western Equatoria State,” Gatdet said.

The rebel Spokesman says the attack violates the IGAD-Plus brokered peace agreement and that Salva kiir is not serious about the peace deal.

“The action is a violation of the ceasefire deal and the security arrangements signed by the two parties (GRSS and SPLA-IO). The attack on the cantonment area is an indication that president Kiir’s government is not committed to the implementation of the peace agreement,” he asserted.

There have been many violence encounters between government forces and citizens of the Western Equatoria State over the past few years.

Charles Barnaba Kisanga, who declared his rebellion against the government on Tuesday, hails from Western Equatoria State. Kisanga also accused Kiir’s government of systematic killings of citizens of his home state.

Since last week, a wild rumor that the entire Equatoria region will soon turn against Kiir’s government has been the main talk in Juba. The speculation prompts the government to deploy troops in and around Equatoria region.

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