S. Sudan’s ruling party factions sign unification deal in Cairo
November 16, 2017 (CAIRO) – Rival factions of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) have signed a unification agreement to rebuild trust and confidence among them.
The deal, dubbed the “Declaration of Unification”, was signed on Thursday in Cairo, Egypt under the auspices of the Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni Kaguta.
The declaration signed, Ahram Online reported, is an important step in supporting peace and ending the war between the factions in South Sudan, which is a political entry point for the return of refugees and displaced persons to their areas of origin.
The various political factions involved also agreed that the Egyptian General Intelligence Service would coordinate with the signatory parties and follow up on the implementation of the agreement.
The Cairo Declaration, which contains names of Pagan Amum, a former political detainee and South Sudan’s defence minister, Kuol Manyang, is expected to speed up implementation of the 2015 Arusha accord, signed nearly three years ago.
In January 2015, delegates from three factions of the SPLM party signed a 12-page agreement in Arusha, Tanzania, laying out key steps toward reunifying the party. Those who signed include the party loyal to President Salva Kiir, the SPLM-in-Opposition and which is led by former vice president Riek Machar, and a third made up of party officials who were detained when the conflict began in December 2013.
The SPLM, South Sudan’s ruling party, was initially founded as the political wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). The party, in the aftermath of the civil war that broke out in the country in mid-December 2013, split into the SPLM-Juba faction headed by Kiir, SPLM-IO led by Machar and that of the ex-political detainees.