SPLM Leaders Opening Statement at The 5th Session of Phase II IGAD Mediated Peace Talks
BY DENG ALOR KUOL;
Your Excellency, Amb. Tewolde Gebremeskel, Representing the Executive Secretary of IGAD,
Excellencies IGAD Special Envoys and Mediators in the South Sudan Peace process,
H. E. Amb. Seyoum Mesfin Chairman IGAD Special Envoys,
Gen Lazro Sumbeiywo, and Gen Mohamed El Dabi,
Representative of the United Nations,
Representative of the African Union,
The Special Envoys of Norway, the United Kingdom and United States of America, European Union (EU) and China,
Fellow South Sudanese Delegates and stakeholders representing the Government, SPLM/A-in-Opposition, my colleagues SPLM Leaders (Former Political Detainees), Political Parties, Civil Society and Faith-based Organizations,
South Sudanese Eminent Persons,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
August 04, 2014(Addis Ababa) — As we resume the Peace Talks on the resolution of the crisis in South Sudan in this Session of the IGAD- led Mediation after two weeks of adjournment, my delegation and my humble self, would like to express our appreciation to the IGAD Envoys for acting with speed to restart the talks. Similarly, we sincerely applaud and fully recognize the continued commitment of the IGAD Heads of State and Government, AU, the Special Envoys of USA, Britain, China, EU, Norway, other friends of South Sudan and the international community at large for their self-less and relentless efforts to bring peace back to our war-torn country.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is our hope and expectation that the consultations conducted by the IGAD Envoys with the IGAD Heads of State and Government with the two warring parties on the main issue that caused the abrupt adjournment of the Multi-stakeholder negotiations in June this year, has found a final solution. We hope that there will be no more obstacles to our common search for peace which the people of South Sudan are yearning for. We certainly mean here the objections which were raised against the process of selection and participation of representatives of some stakeholders in the peace negotiations. It is indeed the hope of all South Sudanese that your consultations did bear fruit; that the fruits of those consultations and reflections will show during these current talks; that they indeed will yield quick results.
However, we note with heavy heart that during the recess, armed confrontation had continued and that many lives had been lost on both sides of the conflict. This loss was absolutely unnecessary. It should have never happened, in view of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed by the two warring parties and their re-commitment to live by their word.
We deeply deplore attempts to transform the conflict into a war for territorial gain and control by either of the two warring parties. The real challenge is not how much territory each side controls but rather what is the way forward for our country to come out from this crisis and avoid further loss of lives and total disintegration of the country.
Concerning the Agenda, in our view the task to be accomplished at this session of the peace talks is precise and clear cut. We all agree on the need for interim security arrangements; we all agree on the need for unhindered humanitarian access; all of us have agreed to transitional governance arrangements with the details remaining to be worked out during this final session of talks; we are unanimous on the need and importance of reconciliation and national healing. Guiding principles and parameters for constitutional review and making of a new Constitution are obvious imperatives, given our recent experience and the crisis we are going through today.
These issues have been debated and reflected upon many times in the past. Given determination and political will, we believe that the participants and stakeholders should be able to work through them within a short period of time in order to beat the time lines agreed to earlier on.
Finally, all the delegations of the stakeholders at this 5th session of the South Sudan Peace Talks, should be acutely aware that the eyes of all South Sudanese are on them. Their yearning to see an end to this brutal war is written all over their faces. Their hope to rebuild their shattered lives is pinned on the success of this session and on the participants at these talks, especially the warring parties. The prayer of our people is for the success of these talks; their prayer is for peace. Peace now! We should not fail them once more. The suffering facing millions of our people should be sufficient to prick our common conscience to resolve the crisis quickly.
Thank you for listening.
Deng Alor Kuol,
SPLM Leaders (Former Political Detainees)