South Sudan: Dr. Lam Akol Criticizes The Government Delegation!
Dr. Lam believes that the government delegation did poorly in the fifth phase of negotiation and recommends that many changes would have to be made to achieve the goal of restoring peace in the country.
“The Government delegation did not do very well, and I think if they have to succeed in the mission that is given to them, they have to change a lot of things,” said Dr Lam Akol, the Leader of the political parties’ delegation to the negotiations, upon arrival at Juba airport yesterday.
Lam criticizes the government delegation for attempting to intimidate other stakeholders on the negotiation table, challenging that the delegation have to be proactive and creative instead of being abusive.
“A negotiator must be proactive, must be creative, must not be abusive, must be able to take the initiative” Lam said.
“As a negotiator you don’t have to be abusive. You need not to quarrel but be persuasive because you are up for a bargain,” Lam added.
Dr. Akol reiterates that if the parties aim to bring genuine peace, then they have to circumvent their self-interest in preference for a collective ones.
“As we know, peace is a central issue to all, the political parties, rebels and government too. And no one party should have its self interest supersede the national interest if we really need peace”, He pointed out.
Upon receiving Akol’s remarks, the minister of information and broadcasting, Michael Makuei Lueth, fiercely fired back at his counterpart, claiming that Lam was disgruntled because his hopes to become the transitional president flattered when IGAD shown preferences for Salva Kiir.
“Lam Akol has every right to say that we are not serious because he wanted to be the transitional President. So he is justified because we did not allow him to achieve his objective.” Makuei said.
Dr. Lam reaffirmed that Salva Kiir signed a foreign document that was not negotiated by the stakeholders, which Makuei refutes.
Makuei believes that the government signed the right document, although Dr. Riek Machar, who refused to sign, calls it a “blank check”. To Machar, the president appended his signature on a document that had no content.
Makuei believes that the document was negotiated by the warring parties in Addis Ababa.
“The document which we signed, we presumed it was the document which the systematic committee prepared and gave to IGAD, so when it was brought to the leaders of IGAD, we signed because we want peace by all means.” Makuei said.
“We did not go to Addis in search for positions, we went there in search for peace and any document that we believe will contribute in bringing peace, we will sign.” Makuei continued.
According Gen, Taban Deng Gai, the chief negotiator for the SPLM/SPLA, IGAD “smuggled” in a document from unknown source, which the opposition believes is intolerable.
The armed opposition accused the regional bloc, IGAD, for acting like a separate negotiator instead of mediating the conflict.
Lam seconded that the document was not developed by the South Sudanese, who have been negotiating to restore peace for the last nine months.
“The text that the IGAD and President Kiir signed didn’t come from us. It wasn’t developed by us. Nobody knows where it was brought from,” Lam said.
While responding to members of government affiliated political parties, Dr. Lam clarifies that the private meeting with Dr. Riek Machar, which he was accused for, is important to learn and make comprises for the sake of peace in the country.
“We were there to talk. As political parties we had to talk to all other parties. This is important because you will know their point of view and if there are different viewpoints that is when we have to make them understand to reach the compromise in order to have peace”, Akol clarified.
The chairman, Dr. Lam, was accused and disowned by members of political parties, which he represents in the peace talks for meeting Dr. Riek Machar without their authorization. The politicians, in Akol’s camp, claim that they will dispose the chairman if he continues the back-door meetings.