South Sudan: Government Delegation Accused IGAD Mediators and Partners, Wants Venue Changed!

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

Michael Makuei Lueth(centre), the Acting Chief Negotiator for the government delegation, the Minister of information and broadcasting and the government spokesman (Photo: Oyet Patric/Nyamilepedia)

October 1, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Michael Makuei Lueth, who doubles as the government Spokesman, recently accused the America, Britain, Norway and Ethiopia on the BBC Focus on Africa program for financing and “controlling” the peace process.

“The Troika are the one controlling the process and negotiations. They are the one financing the peace talks. They came in with their money with strings attached. And this string attached include regime changes.” – Makuei said in a BBC Focus interview.

Makuei accused the Ethiopia Ambassador to China, Amb. Seyoum Mesfin, who is currently the IGAD lead mediator, for “being a mediator in his home country” and for being influenced by those who finance the South Sudan Peace Process.

“We want the venue to be changed as well as the chief mediator. Because the chief mediator being a mediator in his home country and who is being influenced by others who are being paid, then we will not be able to reach peace in Ethiopia” – Makuei said.

The government delegation wants the peace process transferred to Kenya and be led by the Kenyan Envoy, General Lazarus Sumbeiywo, who played an important role during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA, that led to South Sudan independent in 2011.

“The mediation which was managed by General Lazarus Sumbeiywo was more fragile than this one but he managed properly and we succeeded. He brought peace to South Sudan and brought independence,” Makuei said.

“We are appealing to the region and especially the Kenyan government. Kenya is the centre for everything here in the region. This is where our message should be carried from,” Makuei continued.

Makuei believes that the more experienced General should have shared the mediation in the first place. The lawyer regrets that the mediation was “put under somebody who never mediated any process even in his homeland “.

“For Lazarus to be put under somebody who never mediated any process even in his homeland that was wrong, this is a misuse of the seed of the IGAD. And this is why we are unable to achieve peace is South Sudan up to now.” Makuei said.

Makuei believe that the Ethiopia and TROIKA partners are pursuing their own interests which aim to overthrow Salva Kiir government.

“We want peace for our people, not other interests. The problem of South Sudan should not be used for serving others interests. Those who want to over throw the Government of South Sudan should seek other avenues but not through the mediation.” Makuei told the BBC.

A Kenyan member of parliament, Wavinya Ndeti, the Kathiani MP, who overheard the BBC interview calls on the South Sudanese leaders to unite and work together to solve their problems, saying that the “the European counties or America should not come in to solve our problems.”

“This is your country, take charge and take control. The people of Sudan should learn to accommodate each other and if you all work together I can assure you will be one of the riches countries in Easter Africa,” MP Ndeti told the status conference of the South Sudan mediation process.

SPLM/SPLA Delegation Protests The Call To Change The Venue:

The South Sudan’s SPLM/SPLA in Opposition is deeply concerned by Hon. Makuei’s statements on BBC and blames the government delegation for tactical attempts to delay the peace process;

According to Mabior Garang de Mabior, the Chairman for SPLM/SPLA’s National Committee for Informational and Public Relations, the SPLM/SPLA is deeply concerned by the latest statements made by the Minister of Information and Public Broadcasting.

“The minister went on to say that the Chief Mediator: “…was being influenced by others…which is America, Britain and the Norwegian, these are the Troika members who are in control…” Mabior summarizes the Minister’s statement.

“The Minister of Information and Public Broadcasting went as far as accusing the Troika member states of trying to force “regime change” and being “responsible for the beginning of the crisis” in the Republic of South Sudan, abandoning the coup narrative in the process.” Mabior said.

Mabior believes that the GRSS has continuously (since January) been undermining the peace process in Ethiopia, and this is just the latest delaying tactic in a strategy to ensure the failure of the peace process.

“The GRSS’s intransigence started with the violations of the agreements on the Political Detainees and the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH). These agreements were signed in January, yet the last of the detainees was released in April (after the courts failed to prove treason charges).” Mabior said.

“The GRSS has in addition been on the offensive, and has since January illegally occupied territories previously under the control of SPLM/SPLA, in violation of the CoH Agreement.” Mabior continued.

According to Mabior, the statements made by the Minister of Information and Public Broadcasting also the Spokesperson for the government are deplorable.

SPLM Delegation believes that shifting of the Peace Talks from Ethiopia would just be an unnecessary delay of peace and would only prolong the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

The SPLM/SPLA is committed to IGAD led Peace Process, under the leadership of Seyoum Mesfin.

“The SPLM/SPLA would like to restate its full confidence in the IGAD peace process in Ethiopia and in the leadership of Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin in the Office of the Special Envoys for South Sudan (OSESS).” Mabior continued.

The Opposition calls on “the world to join in condemning this latest attempt by the GRSS to delay peace and prolong the suffering of the people of South Sudan”

“It is time for the IGAD member States, the AU, Troika, EU and all peace loving people of the world to use their leverage on the GRSS to persuade them to negotiate in good faith.” Mabior Concludes