NAS’s conference supports rejection of South Sudan revitalized peace deal
November 27, 2018 (JUBA) - The holdout opposition National Salvation Front (NAS) supported the rejection of the revitalized peace agreement decided by its leadership and called to negotiate a sustainable peace addressing the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan.
From 23 to 25 November 2018, NAS political and military leaders held a leadership conference chaired by the Front’s chairperson Thomas Cirillo Swaka to assess the political situation and the next steps after its rejection of the revitalized peace pact last September.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, the group omitted to mention the place where the conference took place but indicated that the three-day meeting was attended by foreign diplomats, representatives of NAS offices abroad, delegates of NAS national committees, representatives of faith and civil society groups, representatives of refugees and representatives of women and youth.
The meeting which was held under the theme "Towards a Just and Sustainable Peace in South Sudan" discussed the revitalized peace agreement, and decided to uphold the leadership’s decision to not sign the revitalized peace agreement.
The conference decided to "endorses the decision of NAS leadership for abstaining from signing the R-ARCSS in its present flawed form and mandates the leadership to continue engaging with all stakeholders to achieve a just and sustainable peace in South Sudan".
It further decided to commit to the humanitarian cessation of hostilities agreement of 21 December 2017 and called on the signatories of the peace deal to observe the ceasefire and allow unfettered humanitarian access.
The conference was held after calls by President Kiir and the leader of the main opposition SPLM-IO for all the non-signatories to join the peace agreement.
Also, the IGAD Council of Ministers directed its special envoy for South Sudan to react out the holdout groups and to encourage them to append their signatures on the peace pact.
The rebel conference, however, urged the "IGAD, AU, UN and the Troika to engage with non-signatory political forces and to seek ways to address their concerns", pointing that the 12 September agreement is "unrealistic, unsustainable and fails to address the root causes of the conflict".
NAS calls for a federal system in South Sudan saying it is the most viable and appropriate system of governance for the country. But, it does not make concrete proposals in this respect.
The group clashed several times with the South Sudanese government army and SPLA-IO forces in the Equatoria province where its fighters are deployed.