Nevertheless, it is our hope and desire that as we reconvene today, our deliberations will emulate the same spirit of October last year, when we were privileged to be hosted by this sisterly country, one of Africa’s icon of Liberation Movements, Tanzania.
Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
What is expected of the Leadership of SPLM is taking hard decisions that would expedite the peace process in our country. We cannot continue to behave and act as if we are in normal conditions. South Sudan is no longer the same since the events of December 15th, 2013. Just over a year now, we cannot afford to continue behaving as if we live in cocoons. The region, Africa and indeed the world are getting fatigued and are watching us every single day of our lives. We cannot continue to ignore their concerns as well as their commitment to assist us achieve lasting peace, else they will start developing ideas that may not be our best options on how to end the conflict in our country. Moreover, it is now not up to us to think that we can continue to ignore the suffering of our citizens with impunity and without accountability while the region and the world are watching.
Yes, South Sudan is a sovereign country but it must also fulfill its obligations to abide by international norms and principles of statehood. Do we have to be reminded every time that we are also an integral part of the region, Africa and the world? No! We succeeded in our liberation because of our hard struggle combined with diplomacy and good regional and international relations. The pedagogy of our liberation struggle taught us to be ready to sacrifice and not to cling to our own egos and personal desir es. Therefore, power should not be maintained at all cost nor should it be seized by force, while our populations are subjected to perpetual suffering. To us, No! That is why we made a conscious decision not to pick up arms or join any belligerent party. War is and should not be an option because our people have suffered for so long. We must stop the war and let us agree to reunite our party here in Arusha and move to conclude a comprehensive peace in Addis Ababa in order to embark on nation building.
Last but not the least, the issues are clear and we have the framework document, which we initialed last year to guide us. We should not continue deceiving ourselves by projected victories and instead we must be mindful that our country is drifting to abyss. As responsible leaders of our people, let us take this opportunity to deliver peaceto our suffering people and war-torn country. Let us make this year to be different from the one that has just ended miserably for South Sudanese.
Once again, we thank Tanzania for hosting this DialogueandCMI for their support. We are equally grateful to the region and allthosepeace loving people of the world who have remained seized of the situation in our country.