Regional pressure mounts on General Olony to return to Juba

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The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and some individual states including Sudan are reportedly pressuring SPLM-IO nominee for Upper Nile state governor General Johnson Olony Thabo to return to Juba, senior opposition diplomats in Khartoum said.

Olony was nominated by Machar for governorship of the oil-rich state on June 24, but he was not among those appointed on June 29, after Kiir objected to his nomination because he believes the opposition governor is a “warmonger.”

However, Kiir continued to change his position, with most recently saying that the opposition governor need to be presence in Juba, like his colleagues, in order for him to be appointed.

Olony has insisted he must be appointed before he return to the capital.

Speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon, two opposition diplomats in the Sudanese capital Khartoum said Sudan and IGAD are pressuring Olony to return to Juba, so that the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement moves forward.

“What the IGAD is saying currently is that Machar convince Olony to go to Juba. They are also telling Olony that ‘you go to Juba,’ and General Olony’s return to Juba is not crucial for his appointment because some of his colleagues were appointed in absence,” one diplomat told Sudans Post in Khartoum on Sunday afternoon.

Another official said Sudan is telling Olony to return as well, saying the peace agreement in South Sudan should not be held hostage.

“Sudan is saying that Olony is holding the revitalized peace agreement hostage. What they are saying is that they want Olony to be in Juba before his appointment and there is no guarantee that Olony will be appointed once he return to Juba,” the opposition official said.

The main armed opposition group is insisting on the appointment of Olony before his return to Juba, accusing the former ITGONU of dragging its feet on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

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