Civil Society Response to the Withdrawal of the some of its members to IGAD-Led Peace Process for South Sudan
August 21, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — After South Sudan government delegation boycotted the peace talk in Addis Ababa on the second day, members of Civil Society held a press conference to state their withdrawal from the plenary session.
However, the delegates of Civil Society who attended the session want to clarify to IGAD mediators and South Sudanese that they [delegates] do not recognize the press statement released by their colleagues on 20th August, 2014.
” Although we do recognize the democratic right of each individual member of the civil Society to express his/her views, they would like to state categorically here that the press statement dated 20th August , 2014, does not reflect the views of the entire Civil Society attending the ongoing IGAD-Led Peace talk” the delegates said.
The delegates believes that the members of civil society that boycotted the peace talk are affiliated with SPLM, Juba faction.
“The press release is a statement belonging to the Alliance Group affiliated to the government in Juba” the report reads.
The delegates affirm that they have no intention to boycott the peace talk and therefore they will continue to participate in the plenary Session.
They further reiterates that the reasons that were presented by their colleagues are “vague and ambiguous” and should not have necessitated members of civil society to withdrawal from the session.
“The reasons given by our colleagues are vague and ambiguous and we do not feel it could amount to stakeholder’s withdrawal from the plenary season.” the report reads.
The delegates reiterates their commitment to the roundtable mediation, however, they believe that limiting the direct talks to the warring parties will expedite the peace process.
“Therefore, we the other civil society delegates to the IGAD Peace Talks are committed to the multi-stakeholders roundtable format while at the same time recognizing the bilateral talks between the two warring parties to speed up the peace process.”
The delegates urge their colleagues to commit to peace mediation in order to restore peace in the country.
“We urge all the stakeholders to commit themselves to the IGAD Peace Talks and work tirelessly to reach a just, sustainable, lasting and permanent peace for all our people of South Sudan.”
Government Boycotts Peace Talks:
South Sudan government delegation boycotts the multi-stakeholders peace talks while demanding that the talk must address the following preconditions:
- Transitional Security
- Economic, Finance and Resource Management and
- Transitional Governance Arrangements
SPLM-Juba calls on the regional mediators to focus on secession of hostilities matrix to stop the SPLA [in opposition] from attacking their forces before moving on to discuss Transitional Government of National UNity.
IGAD, however, urges the warring parties to start negotiating the transitional government in spite of ceasefire violations that continue in many parts of Greater Upper Nile.
The opposition blames the government for escalating the war in the country while boycotting the peace talks in Addis Ababa.
“Government’s boycott of peace talks has led to escalation of the war on the ground as manifested by small arms fire which erupted in Juba on the night of 18th by soldiers deserting for Greater Bahr El Ghazal region and todays clashes among government soldiers deployed at Tore Military Barracks north of Yei town in Central Equatoria State.” Brig. Lul Ruai Koang said.
The SPLM/SPLA further accused the government of lacking political will to resolve the conflict through peaceful means.
“Kiir’s delegation failure to show up reaffirms SPLM/SPLA‘s long held views that the government is unfaithful and lacks political will.” Lul said.