JUBA, SEPTEMBER 19, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s civil society activist Edmund Yakani has appealed to religious leaders to intervene saying that ongoing disagreements between the main signatories to the revitalized peace agreement may return the country to the civil war.
This comes after the main armed opposition group SPLM-IO pulled out its lawmakers from parliament during the third and final reading of the National Elections Act 2012 (Amendment Bill 2023) over a new section granting the president the power to appoint 5% percent of members of parliament.
The SPLM-IO later in the day also said that its leader and First Vice President Riek Machar Teny has been under house confinement as he has been denied travelling abroad for treatment and also denied per mission to travel to New York for the 78th UN summit despite invitation.
Yakani who is the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) called on the faith-based leaders to intervene, warning that the world’s youngest country is potentially returning to the deadly civil war which was fought from December 2013 to February 2020.
“Time is now for the faith-based leaders to step up on prevention of potential occurrence of violence as prescribed in the holy books of the heaven. South Sudan is at risk crossroad point that requires urgent intervention for prevention of growth political frictions among the political elites,” he said in a statement.
“The recent growing tensions between the SPLM and SPLM-IO over matters of the peace agreement implementation is posting potential renewal of violence as the 2024 elections are approaching. The deficit in trust and confidence is rising so faster among the parties to R- ARCSS,” he added.
The activist said that “SPLM-IO publicly saying their leader is prevented from traveling outside juba is a potential threat to political stability besides disagreement over the enactment of the national elections act bill, 2023, merging understanding on the possible conduct of the national elections as preconditions for the creating enabling environment for the elections is considered among other actions that constitute violation or undermining of peace agreement implementation spirit. Faith based leaders kindly we beg intervene now to prevent return to violence.”