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South Sudan Agric Minister resigns, says peace deal is over

South Sudan Agric Minister resigns, says peace deal is over

Ethiopia

South Sudan’s Agriculture and Food Security Minister Lam Akol has resigned from his position saying there is no more peace agreement to implement.

“Since the agreement is dead and there is no free political space in Juba, the only sensible way to oppose this regime so as to restore genuine peace to our war torn country is to organize outside Juba,” Akol told journalists on Monday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Akol, one of two non-armed opposition members in the unity government was appointed in line with the peace deal signed last August.

Since the agreement is dead and there is no free political space in Juba, the only sensible way to ... restore genuine peace to our war torn country is to organize outside Juba

But the unity government is now showing signs of cracks following the departure of Reik Machar, leader of the SPLM-In Opposition after recent clashes between his troops and those of president Salva Kiir in the capital Juba, earlier in July.

“Machar is an opposition leader. We are opposition leaders. There are many other opposition leaders. We are consulting as I speak as how to organize so that the opposition to the government is consolidated,” Akol further said.

The now ex-minister accused president Salva Kiir of dealing a final blow to the peace deal through his actions since the first week of July explaining that the July violence marked the end of the security arrangements of the peace deal.

“History teaches us that whenever the security arrangements of any peace agreement collapse, the whole agreement collapses,” local radio Tamazuj quoted Akol as saying.

Although it is not clear if the outgoing minister has joined forces with deposed first vice president Reik Machar, he told the media: “All of us agree that the regime in Juba must change. We differ on the means. There are those who think it should be done by force. There are those who think it should be done by political means. This is why we are discussing. Those who believe in changing it by force and those who believe that should be done in peace means should come together and have something in common.”

South Sudan, the world’s youngest country appears to be slipping back into a state of war having just recovered from a two-year conflict a little over a year ago.

Nearly 300 people were killed in July when fighting broke out between forces loyal to Salva Kiir and Reik Machar.