South Sudan: A rebel general threatens to quit peace negotiations in Kenya following an assassination attempt

Peace negotiations in South Sudan held in Kenya are facing a potential crisis as rebel general Stephen Buay Rolnyang threatens to withdraw from the talks. These discussions, which resumed on May 10 in Nairobi, aim to include non-signatory rebel groups from the 2018 peace agreement.

General Buay Rolnyang, commander of the SSPM/A, has claimed to have been the target of an assassination attempt.

In a letter to Kenyan mediator Lazarus Sumbeiywo, he accuses the South Sudanese intelligence director of orchestrating this attempt using Kenyan agents to surveil him.

On May 16, these agents allegedly tried to assassinate him, but the attempt failed due to family ties between Buay and one of the alleged assassins.

These serious allegations have been confirmed by Buay himself, expressing distrust towards President Salva Kiir’s administration, deeming it “dishonest” in the negotiations.

He has thus requested to leave Kenya, threatening the continuity of the peace talks. In response, the Kenyan mediator assured that the discussions were taking place «in a safe environment» and that an investigation was underway to examine these claims.

Buay’s threat to depart represents a setback for the negotiations. A former influential member of the SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) and founder of the movement’s elite units in the 2000s, Buay has retained significant loyalty among his forces despite his fall from grace after the civil war.

His departure could seriously jeopardize mediation efforts and the fragile stability of South Sudan.

Since its independence in 2011, South Sudan has been embroiled in internal conflicts. The 2018 peace agreement ended five years of civil war, but many rebel groups did not sign it, making the current negotiations crucial for lasting peace.

Buay’s accusations add a new layer of complexity to the talks, highlighting the persistent challenges the peace process must overcome.

The success of these negotiations is essential to establish lasting peace and stabilize South Sudan, a country that has suffered greatly from decades of conflict.

The potential departure of General Buay from the discussions could hinder these efforts.



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