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JUBA - 12 Jun 2019

Sudan's suspension could affect South Sudan peace deal: analyst

File photo: Atem Simon
File photo: Atem Simon

A South Sudan observer has warned that the suspension of neighboring Sudan from the African Union (AU) could derail the September 2018 peace deal.

Sudan and Uganda are guarantors to South Sudan's revitalized peace agreement that seeks to end the devastating conflict.

The African Union suspended Sudan’s membership until the establishment of civilian rule, intensifying global pressure on its new military rulers to transfer power after the worst violence since Omar al-Bashir's ouster in April.

Atem Simon, a political analyst and journalist, told Radio Tamazuj on Monday that Khartoum’s suspension from the AU could bring negative effects on the peace deal if Juba continues to support Sudan’s embattled military ruler.

He urged South Sudan government to support the continental body’s efforts to restore stability in Sudan instead of supporting the ruling military council.

The South Sudanese analyst has advised South Sudan government to be neutral in the events leading to transition in Sudan where military rulers who ousted president Omar al-Bashir are locked in a standoff with protesters demanding civilian rule.

“Juba needs to wait for the results of the ongoing talks between Sudan’s military council and protest leaders. The government should work for the interest of its people,” he said.

Atem said that the success of the revitalised peace deal depends on South Sudan government’s collaboration with the region to push for fruitful dialogue in an attempt to restore peace, order and security in Sudan.

According to Atem, there is a possibility of involving Egypt in South Sudan’s peace process after the African Union suspended Sudan’s membership.

Last week, South Sudan government voiced concern over the future of the peace deal after the African Union suspended Sudan.

It said the continental body suspended Sudan without consultation.

South Sudan’s rival leaders signed a peace deal in September 2018 to establish a transitional government by May 12, 2019.

However, the formation of the government was extended by six months to November after the parties failed to implement critical steps in the deal such as the creation of a unified army.