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JUBA - 30 Jan 2019

Former detainees agree with Kiir to rejoin SPLM party

Members of the SPLM Former Detainees (SPLM-FDs) said they agreed to reunite the SPLM party soon after meeting President Salva Kiir in Juba on Tuesday.

South Sudan's ruling party fractured into three factions after the civil war broke out in December 2013.

Deng Alor Kuol, a leading member of the SPLM FDs, said in a press statement that they agreed to reunite the fractured historical party.

"All of us have agreed to reunite the SPLM and to come back to SPLM as a family," he said.

"The President was very happy and he is going to cooperate with all of us so that we see the unity of the SPLM as soon as possible," he added.

The SPLM-FDs are a group of high level politicians who were arrested by the government after the outbreak of war in December 2013 and accused of trying to overthrow President Kiir. They were later released due to lack of evidence and fled to Kenya. The former detainees, who do not command any troops, had been involved in the peace process with the armed groups.

Alor further said they agreed to set up a joint committee to expedite the reunification of the SPLM party very soon in accordance with the Arusha reunification deal.

The Arusha reunification accord was signed on 21 January 2015 under the auspices of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi, Tanzania’s governing party and attempts to reunify SPLM factions through a conflict resolution mechanism.

The deal signed by SPLM led by Salva Kiir, SPLM-IO led Riek Machar and SPLM-FDs led by Pagan Amum, laid out key steps towards the reunification of the governing party.