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South Sudan’s rebel leader declares “permanent ceasefire”

Addis Ababa, August 28, 2015 (SSNA) -- The leader of South Sudanese rebels Dr. Riek Machar has declared permanent truce with Salva kiir’s government forces, saying his armed movement is committed to peace and it abides by the IGAD-Plus signed document.

In an order extended to the South Sudan news Agency (SSNA), Machar cites Chapter II article 1.1 of the IGAD-Plus’s compromise peace agreement on the resolution of South Sudan’s civil war as reason for his order.

“Reference to Chapter II article 1.1 of the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in the Republic of south Sudan signed on 17th August 2015 in Addis Ababa, and 26th August 2015 in Juba, I, Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA), hereby order all SPLM/SPLA forces to cease fire in the country as of midnight 29th August 2015,” the directive reads in part.

The leader of the armed opposition also orders the SPLA-IO forces to remain alert and to act only if they are attacked by the rival forces.

“All forces are to remain alert in their current positions and to act only on self defence or respond upon aggression,” Machar further stated.

On Thursday, the rebel leader also said government troops attacked SPLA-IO's positions in the oil-rich Unity State and accused Juba of violating the peace deal.

Dr. Machar signed the IGAD-Plus’s compromise peace agreement on the 17th of August. His opponent, Kiir, signed the pact on August 26 in Juba; nine days after he declined to sign the same document in Ethiopia.

South Sudan’s Kiir signs ‘compromise peace agreement’

Juba, August 26, 2015 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has signed the IGAD-PLUs’s compromise peace agreement nine days after he refused to sign the document in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Kiir signed the IGAD-Plus's final peace document in Juba in presence of IGAD member states including representatives of countries parties to the mediating bloc.

Rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar and Former political detainee Pagan Amum signed the power-sharing deal on August 17 -- a dateline initially set by the IGAD-Plus.

At the signing venue, Kiir told the gathering that he still has some doubts about the pact, raising questions whether or not he will implement the deal.

Pressure has been mounting on South Sudan's leader after he asked to be given 15 days to make necessary consultations with his political base. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) threatens to impose sanctions against the young nation if Kiir fails to sign the deal by the September 1 extended dateline.

Kiir, who is at odd with some of his most powerful allies over the internationally-backed pact, finds himself in an increasingly uncomfortable situation.

 The furious SPLA Chief of General Staff Paul Malong Awan told Kiir in one of security meetings held in Juba last week to simply surrender to Riek Machar if he wants to sign what he described as "anti-government deal."

The IGAD-Plus says the agreement must be implemented, warning that any party refusing to implement the deal will be punished.

Disagreement emerges among key government officials over peace proposal as extended dateline looms

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.

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