Speech by Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, Acting Chief Negotiator of the Delegation of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) at the Launching of Session VI, Phase II of the IGAD-led South Sudan Peace Talks.H.E. Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, Chairperson, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan;

H.E. General Lazarus Sumbeiywo, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan;

H.E. General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa El Dabi, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan;

Gen. Taban Deng Gai, Chief Negotiator of the SPLM/A (In Opposition);

Members of the delegations of the two Direct Negotiators;

Eminent persons,

All other distinguished stakeholders represented here;

Representatives of AU, UN, People’s Republic of China, TROIKA, EU, friends of IGAD and South Sudan;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Michael Makuei Lueth(centre), the Acting Chief Negotiator for SPLM-Juba(Photo: Oyet Patric/Nyamilepedia)

Michael Makuei Lueth(centre), the Acting Chief Negotiator for SPLM-Juba(Photo: Oyet Patric/Nyamilepedia)

Sept 22, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — On behalf of my Chief Negotiator and the members of the delegation of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and on my own behalf, I welcome the opening of the 6th Session of Phase II of the IGAD led South Sudan Peace Process. Please allow me to congratulate the Special Envoys for their tireless efforts, dedication and commitment for successfully organising the 27th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government, which laid to rest some stumbling blocks and shaped the way forward through the Protocol on Agreed Principles and the CoH Agreement matrix.

However, we regret that the planned workshop on the CoH Agreement matrix scheduled for the first week of September 2014 failed to kick off for reasons not known to this Delegation. The operationalization of the CoH Agreement matrix would ensure humanitarian access to the civilians who are in dire need of such assistance and services.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

May I assure everyone in this hall that the Government is committed to this peace process and is optimistic that this Phase of the South Sudan Peace Talks will lead to significant gains in reaching a final, durable, fair, just and lasting peace for the people of South Sudan. My Delegation is fully mandated and authorized by the People, the President and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to negotiate in good faith to achieve lasting peace. We hope that our brothers and sisters in the SPLM/A (IO) share this same commitment and authorization.

The Government Delegation is ready to negotiate and conclude an agreement in this very important session guided by the following historical agreements:

  1. The Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) dated 23rd of January, 2014;
  2. The Implementation Modalities in support of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) dated 24th February, 2014;
  3. The Re-commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement on Humanitarian Matters dated 5th May, 2014;
  4. The Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan dated 9th May, 2014;
  5. The Re-dedication of and Implementation Modalities for the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the annex (matrix) dated 25h August, 2014;
  6. The Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements Towards Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan dated 25th August, 2014; and
  7. The Decisions and Communiqu’es of the 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th Extra-Ordinary Sessions of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

The Government Delegation, with due respect, expects the mediators to facilitate this phase of the peace process while respecting and abiding by the ten universal norms of mediation which are:-

  1. Listen, listen, listen;
  2. Build trust between parties;
  3. Build confidence in the mediation process;
  4. Focus on parties’ needs, not positions;
  5. Not lecture nor preach;
  6. Not threaten nor bully;
  7. Be fair and supportive;
  8. Be patient and persistent;
  9. Ensure parties own the agreement; and
  10. Be ready to withdraw

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Government of the Republic of South Sudan has so far made several concessions right from the beginning of this peace process. Chief among these concessions is the 9th May Agreement. It is high time for the SPLM/A (IO) to start giving concessions in return.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We believe that war is not the option, rather, peaceful resolution is the way forward. I therefore, call upon the Regional and the International Communities to persuade and prevail upon the SPLM/A (IO) to pursue peace, as the best option, instead of military option which may not be favorable to all of us.

Without downplaying the important role of the other stakeholders, we must not lose sight of the fact that our most important task here is to stop the fighting and bring peace by ensuring that the CoH Agreement matrix is fully upheld and operationalized. Failure to achieve peace, we would fail the very people whom we are representing in this peace process.

Therefore, we expect to end this session and conclude peace, at the very least, without any fresh attacks on our positions by the SPLM/A (IO).

We hope, this time around, all the stakeholders and the mediation team will combine their efforts in this session, collaborate and work together within the set frame of the Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements Towards Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan. In so doing we are optimistic that peace will be achieved.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I cannot end this speech without appreciating and commending the commitment of IGAD, the AU Peace and Security Council, the International Community, the UN, the People’s Republic of China, Denmark, Japan, the European Union, the TROIKA, the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) and the friends of South Sudan for their dedication and tireless efforts to this peace process. I call upon them to continue, may God bless them for they are peacemakers.

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I conclude by reiterating our commitment as a Government to fully abide by the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement and the CoH Agreement Matrix to save the remaining lives in South Sudan.

The rains are pouring heavily on our citizens in the Displaced Camps; the best thing we can do is to successfully conclude this peace process, as soon as possible, to avert the looming humanitarian catastrophe in our country.

We cannot afford to waste any more time wrangling over positions while the innocent civilians pay the price for such senseless political warfare.

 

God Bless South Sudan.

Thank you

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One comment

  • The words default is correctly used by the opposition,because if those adviser working with the president can also unproved on the system as per the needs of the citizen could have been better.but to my surprised,the government has no changes in what the citizen are talking.civil servant are been treated like slaved,stilling of money remains one sided. Now where are we going,and those who are sharing the cake continuous giving wrong advised to the president not to step down as he has already failed the government system..

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