March 12, 2019 (JUBA) - The former South Sudanese army chief of staff turned rebel Paul Malong has agreed to join the revitalized peace and agreed and to engage discussions with the government on its implementation.

On 18 December 2018, in a meeting with the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais, Malong voiced his support to the revitalized agreement and said ready to engage in the peace process.

Accordingly, he held a two-day meeting in Nairobi on 11-12 March with the IGAD Special Envoy, representatives of the RJMEC, CTSAMM, office of the chair and IGAD member states to discuss the modalities of his participation in the implementation of the peace agreement and the peace process.

"Following the discussions, the SSUF/A led by Gen Paul Malong Awan expresses its willingness and readiness to engage in the peace process through negotiations with the government of South Sudan to be facilitated by the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan," said a joint statement signed by Malong, Waid and Tesfa Micheal from the office of the IGAD Council of Ministers.

In line with the framework of discussions, there will be no renegotiations or reopening of the revitalized peace agreement.

It is not clear where the talks between the government and the SSUF of Gen Malong will take place.

The discussions are supposed to deal mainly with the security arrangements.

On Friday 8 March, Wais met with the holdout South Sudan National Democratic Alliance (SSNDA) groups to discuss ways to join the peace agreement.

But the alliance did not yet issue a statement on the outcome of the meeting, the same for the IGAD.

In a meeting held last February, the special envoy refused to recognize the new groups established after the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF). Any new group will not be admitted into the revitalized peace agreement.

Also, he said that group unwilling to join the peace agreement, and who activities will impede its full implementation shall be considered as a spoiler and held accountable.



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