News / Africa

IGAD Says South Sudan Peace 'Matrix' Signed, Opposition Says It's Not

The chief negotiator for the South Sudanese opposition, Taban Deng Gai, shown here at the peace talks in Addis Ababa in Jan. 2014, denies that his side has signed a blueprint for restoring peace in the young country.
The chief negotiator for the South Sudanese opposition, Taban Deng Gai, shown here at the peace talks in Addis Ababa in Jan. 2014, denies that his side has signed a blueprint for restoring peace in the young country.

East African bloc IGAD on Wednesday congratulated the South Sudanese government and opposition for signing a blueprint, called the matrix, to end an eight-month conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and driven the young country to the edge of famine.

IGAD said the "long-awaited" signing of the matrix means that the cessation of hostilities agreement that was signed on Jan. 23 will finally be put into action and "...the guns will be silenced and the senseless conflict in South Sudan will end."

Opposition: We didn't sign

But chief opposition negotiator, Taban Deng Gai, put a damper on IGAD's congratulatory mood, saying no one from his side signed the matrix.

"What we signed is a rededication to a document that we don’t know," he told South Sudan in Focus. "They talk of matrix, they talk of addendum, they talk of addendum to matrix. We told the (IGAD) envoy that the matrix itself is an addendum to the cessation of hostilities agreement."

Explaining later that the opposition refused to sign the document because IGAD was imposing it on them, Gai referred to it as a matrix agreement.

"The mediators, IGAD, should accept that they are failing," Gai said. "In forums, when you don't provide accepted solutions to the parties, if you impose a solution to the crisis, you are fuelling more the crisis. That is why we have decided not to sign the matrix."

The government’s lead negotiator, Nhial Deng Nhial, said the matrix was signed by both sides, "And they did not sign it behind closed doors."

"It was signed in front of the whole world with media there and in front of the leaders of IGAD," Nhial said.

The guns will be silenced and the senseless conflict in South Sudan will end.

Nhial said the question now was "...whether they (the opposition) will abide by it or not."

Under the terms of the matrix, both sides are required to immediately freeze the position of their forces and begin to disengage them. They will be helped in this by IGAD's Joint Technical Committee and by ceasefire monitoring teams, IGAD said.

IGAD said ending the fighting is key to building trust and confidence between the government and opposition so that multi-party talks, which will resume on Sept. 13, can finally make progress and bring lasting peace to South Sudan and allow the 1.7 million who have been displaced by the fighting to return home.


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Comment Sorting
by: keah maloth kai from: khartoum sudan
August 30, 2014 4:38 PM
Why a so called igad worry about the refusal of signed blueprint by opposition party headed by d
#dr machar and #taban deng wizout withdrawal of foreigners troop inside the south sudan territory??.
and then congratulation to opposition party of their refusals to sign useless #igad document and its utters utmostly appreciateable to deng taban;
If the igad at wanted to detach up hostilities south sudan,let them order the foreigners troops to withdraw in the south land,if not?,no peace.
The igad were not serious to restores or delievers peace to the south sudanese,if they were utterly sincere to restores peace,they'll not use peace as sources of inflow or income to them.
my message to unheed #igad is that, if u'ren't to force out the foreigners troop,there is no so call gun silence or blueprint.

by: Thak Nguany from: Juba at Unimiss Camp.
August 29, 2014 4:14 AM
with present of Ugandan Army in South Sudan there will be no any achievment in peace talk.

by: Lisa from: Dallas
August 28, 2014 11:30 PM
How can comes that igad keep on changing terms now we are waiting for so call matrix agreement. In September let the truth be spoken igad will never bring peace to south Sudan. The people of southern Sudan know that kiir can't manage the country any more. The only solution to south Sudan, is it's people to stand up and vote out kiir.

by: Jacob from: Juba South Sudan
August 28, 2014 12:13 PM
IGAD and to be more precise President Yoweri Museveni, must stop playing with southern Sudanese Lives. Kiir Concocted a fake Coup, in order to use it as a pretext to get rid of his political opponents and instill a tribal Dictator. All one needs to see is the set up of the government of south sudan and you will notice Salva was trying to set up a Gogrial Kingdom. How can Kiir still be considered as a leader when, IDPs are scared of their very own Presidential Tiger Guards. Kiir is responsible for the massacre of 20,000 Nuers.

How do you expect the nuers to trust a government lead by him. When he Slaughtered them? The rebels demands are quite simple. Kiir must step down in order for genuine peace and reconciliation to take place otherwise this is only a temporary fix until the end of the transitional government duration. He tried to kill the SPLM-IO leadership, how do you expect them to trust him again and return to Juba and integrate their forces into the Malong and Kiir's Tribal Army. That is essential disarming them and setting a stage for Kiir's next Mood swing and Genocidal episode.

by: Kim Lony Gatluak from: JUBA SOUTH SUDAN
August 28, 2014 8:55 AM
We appreciated Dr Riek Machar Teny. For n't siging black text check. this war no end it's war Lord and least Salva kiir must step down we need peace without president Salva Kiir
In Response

by: De Nazario from: Thiet
August 29, 2014 10:56 AM
Kim, Kiir was elected by South Sudanese. Power hungry Riek is overtly deluded. Do not demand the impossible. That Kiir must step down as a precondition to signing the matrix of secession of hostilities is a tall order. Wake up or so you are tall to!

by: Kuch from: Bor
August 28, 2014 5:28 AM
Do these South Sudan's tribal armed rebels even know the word "matrix?" I guess not!

Instead of coming to their senses and let the South Sudanese people come back together and start the state of building their nation and reconciling each others; these criminals want to dictate the "matrix" of the negotiation.

They rebelled for no apparent reasons and they want to come back to South Sudan and the South Sudanese people whom they defected en-masse from!

Riek Machar and his tribal armed rebellion has told the South Sudanese people as to what they are fighting for exactly? Tell the South Sudanese people, what exactly you are fighting for and South Sudanese people honestly try their best to as to why this senseless war brought upon the innocent South Sudanese people!

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