FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 6 August 2018
Yesterday, the delegation of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) taking part in the Khartoum Round of Facilitation of the Peace Process in South Sudan signed the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues on Governance. It behooves on us to inform our members and the public at large what led to thisdevelopment.
The readers will recall that in our press statements on the 3rdand 4thof August, SSOA made it clear that it will not sign that agreement in the form it was initialed on the 25thof July 2018. Yesterday, we engaged the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs who kindly arranged a meeting with the Heads of State and Government. However, logistical reasons could not allow us to meet the leaders and explain our case to them directly. Fortunately, President Omer Hassan Ahmed el-Bashir of Sudan was properly briefed about our position. He explained it to his colleagues who adopted it unanimously thus opening the way for us to sign the said agreement.
Two things happened yesterday. First, a new Article 4a was introduced into the agreement which deals with a Technical Boundaries Committee (TBC) tasked to delineate and demarcate tribal boundaries as they stood on 1/1/1956. The tribes whose lands were grabbed as a result of the imposition of the 32 States can now make their representations to this Committee and have the right to seek arbitration before the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. Second, the Heads of State and Government have made a commitment that the whole Article 4 will be subjected to further negotiation when the peace talks resume. A written commitment to that effect was written and signed by the Sudanese Minster of Foreign Affairs who is the ChiefMediator.
In view of this development, SSOA delegation felt satisfied that our concern has been addressed adequately and decided to sign the amended form of Agreement on Outstanding Issues on Governance.
We thank H.E. President Omer Hassan Ahmed El-Bashir for his patience with us and persuading his colleagues to see the justice of our demands.
We also thank the masses of our people who stood firmly behind SSOA’s delegation when the riding got tough in the last phase of the negotiations. This victory truly belongs to them.