Sept. 18, 2017, South Sudan’s armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by the former vice-president Riek Machar has criticised the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for what they said was its bias towards President Kiir in the revitalization of the 2015 peace accord.
Machar is being held in South Africa to prevent him from going back to his country. The decision was reportedly reached by IGAD countries in order to keep him away in the hope of preventing fighting in the world’s youngest nation.
Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, a senior opposition official loyal to Riek Machar, told Radio Tamazuj yesterday said IGAD’s plan to revitalize the peace process was biasedly in favour of President Kiir and his first deputy Taban Deng Gai.
Manawa called on the members of the Troika (the UK, US and Norway) and the African Union (AU) to initiate a new forum for peace in South Sudan.
In July this year, Ministers of the East African bloc IGAD said that Machar will not be invited to the next meeting for the revitalization process.
“We already agreed that the process, all opposition groups including Riek Machar’s ideas, the representatives of Riek Machar, can be involved in this process. For the time being, physically we are not inviting Riek Machar,” Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu said at the end of the ministers’ meeting in Juba.