South Sudan Rebels Sign MoU with Juba Government
A faction of South Sudan armed opposition forces has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the country’s government, promising to send a delegation to the capital Juba next week.
The MoU was signed in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Thursday between the Juba government and Gabriel Changson Chang, leader of a faction that broke away from South Sudan’s main rebel group in July. The agreement fuels speculation that a rift between rebel forces is weakening its position against the government it has been at war with for more than two years.
The first step towards peace
The MoU will be seen by many as the first step towards peace between the country’s government and rebel forces in South Sudan. The Federal Democratic Party (FDP) only represents one section of divided rebel groups in the country, but it has agreed to “recognising the efforts of the President to unite all South Sudanese for building and developing the country”.
The document signed by Gabriel Changson Chang also states that “the FDP/SSAF welcomed President Salva Kiir’s peace initiative, and agreed to make peace with the government in order to achieve a comprehensive peace and stability in South Sudan.”
Rebels deny rift in talks with government
While the MoU increases speculation of a political rift between opposition groups, Gen. Peter Gadet – a senior commander who broke away from the country’s main opposition force – denies any division over the objectives of peace talks with the government.
He insists the break away from South Sudan’s main opposition group revolved around differences with rebel leader Riek Machar’s reunification of the SPLM – nothing to do with peace negotiations.
“There are no differences between us, our supporters and forces. We are one looking forward to finding a solution to the conflict,” the senior rebel member insisted.