Splinter group rejects Sudan peace

The leader of a southern Sudanese rebel faction has said he will discard a decade-old peace agreement with the government and rejoin his fighters in the bush.

    Ali Usman Taha (L) and John Garang agreed a draft last month

    Lam Akol, who heads a mainly Shilluk splinter group of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), charged the government of contravening the terms of the accord struck in Fashoda in 1993, by denying him permission to visit his fighters in areas of  the Upper Nile province. 

    By preventing me from visiting my forces, the government “has hammered the last nail in the coffin of the Fashoda agreement,” Akol said in a statement carried by various Khartoum dailies.

    “I no longer have a place in this part of the country (northern Sudan),” said the long-time defector to the government cause, who was transport minister last year.
      
    “The government has to bear the political and moral responsibility of what happened,” he said.

    December deadline

    Akol's break with the government came as it was engaged in intensive talks in Kenya on a peace accord with the largest opposition group, John Garang’s SPLA, to end the 20-year civil war in the south.

    US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who went to Kenya on Wednesday, said he hoped to see a definitive agreement by December on the basis of a draft deal signed last year.

    The draft plans for a referendum on independence for the mainly Christian and animist south after six years of autonomy. 

    Akol broke with the Dinka SPLA leader in the early 1990s, together with Nuer politician, Riek Machar.

    SOURCE: AFP


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