NAS says meeting with IGAD envoy failed
The rebel group National Salvation Front (NAS) led by General Thomas Cirillo Swaka says its recent talks with the East African bloc IGAD have failed.
This comes after the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais met with a team from the NAS movement to discuss ways of bringing the holdout opposition group to join the September 2018 peace deal.
The meeting took place on 8 March in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
NAS deputy spokesman Wazir Michael told Radio Tamazuj Tuesday that the meeting failed because the IGAD mediator insisted that the revitalised peace deal will not be renegotiated.
He stressed that they rejected the position of the IGAD mediator on the peace process in South Sudan. According to Wazir, they asked the mediator and his team to reopen the revitalised peace deal for modifications.
Ismail Wais asked us to join the peace agreement during the meeting. He actually set the same conditions that came in his invitation letter. We told IGAD that the revitalised peace agreement failed to address the root causes of the problem, he said.
We asked them to either reopen the agreement for amendments or start fresh peace negotiations so that issues of governance in general can be extensively discussed, he added.
He explained that the recent consultative meeting between the IGAD mediator and their delegation ended with no word on outcome.
The meeting failed based on our evaluation. But they asked us to present our position paper, which we did. We are now waiting for them because they said our position paper on the peace process will be submitted to the IGAD Council of Ministers so that they decide on our issue, he said.
However, the NAS movement led by General Thomas Cirillo expressed its readiness for genuine peace negotiations.
Cirillo, who also leads a coalition of non-signatory groups calling itself South Sudan National Democratic Alliance (SSNDA), calls for a federal system of governance and devolution of powers to the states.
Source: Radio Tamazuj