SPLM-IO condemns “reckless” remarks by AU envoy to Juba over hotel accommodation
November 22nd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group SPLM-IO, led by ex-vice president Dr. Riek Machar, has condemned a statement by the African Union’s South Sudan ambassador in which he blamed the main armed opposition group for accommodating its members in hotels in Juba at the expense of the peace implementing NPTC.
On Tuesday, the African Union Ambassador to Juba Jorom Mukama Biswaro pointed finger SPLM-IO for accommodating its members in expensive hotels at the expense of the South Sudan government while blaming the very government for not funding the peace process.
“You cannot stay in the expensive hotels, spent extravagantly and then point fingers on the government for not funding the implementation of the Peace deal,” Biswaro told the SSBC on Tuesday.
In a statement issued this morning, the SPLM-IO chairperson of national committee for information and public relations Garang Mabior Garang de’Mabior condemned the remark calling it a reckless statement which should not be uttered by an AU diplomat.
“In reference to the above subject, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) strongly condemns the recent statements by the Ambassador of the African Union (AU) to South Sudan, Prof. Jorom Mukama Biswaro,” Garang said in a statement extended to Nyamilepedia.
“It is unfortunate that a Diplomat from such an august body as the AU would issue a statement without fact checking. It begs a pertinent question; what incentive does HE the Ambassador have in parroting the talking points of the regime, actions which may prolong war and suffering in South Sudan?” Garang asked.
The statement said “The reckless statements of Ambassador Jorum were framed from propaganda posted on Facebook by a regime fake news page – South Sudan TMZ. The misinformation was based on a leaked internal memo of the list of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) Chairman’s peace team to the face-to-face meeting with President Salva Kiir.
“The list was in fact an order for members to return to their original destinations after government failed to lift the state of emergency, which would have allowed the various committees to embark on dissemination of the peace Agreement to every corner of South Sudan. Out of the 15 members accommodated at Peace Hotel in Juba, only five (5) where accommodated at the time of the meeting and currently only two remain as support for the SPLM/SPLA (IO) component of the National Pre-transitional Committee (NPTC). The rest of the members of the Movement are residing in our cantonment site outside Juba.
“The presence of our members in Juba – which was a demand of the regime – is in the spirit of finding a just and honorable peace and is thus part and parcel of the peace process, which requires funding if necessary. It is interesting to note that, H.E. the Ambassador failed to condemn the regime’s accommodation of Gen. Taban Deng Gai group in Crown Hotel, the accommodation of Gen. Wang Chany and his group, the accommodation of Gen. Gat-hoth Gat-kuoth and his group, James Ochan Puot and his group and many other groups who are part of the regime’s counter insurgency tactics to derail the “peace deal”. There are also several government Ministers and Members of Parliament accommodated in hotels since 2005.
“The statements of the AU Ambassador to South Sudan, HE Prof. Jorom Makamba Biswaro, are not only uninformed, they are hostile statements which advance the propaganda war of the government. The regime – which is unpopular – is not interested in implementing a negotiated peace settlement which leads to elections, as it implements them out of power and so their soul objective is to portray the SPLM/SPLA (IO) as the obstacle to peace. If in addition to the flawed nature of the mediation – in which President Salva Kiir is a party to the war and a mediator at the same time – the AU props up the regime, then the government shall have no incentive to implement the “Agreement.
“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) did not call for an extension of the pre-transitional period so that we could stay in hotels in Juba, we called for the extension because none of the critical tasks of the pre-transition have been achieved, namely security arrangements and the number of the states and their boundaries. It is irresponsible statements such as the ones made by HE the Ambassador, which embolden the regime to continue violating the Agreement with impunity.
“We call on our members and the people of South Sudan in general, to remain vigilant against the regime’s propaganda machine. We must beware of some Diplomats who are wittingly or unwittingly being used by the regime to apply international diplomatic pressure on the SPLM/SPLA (IO) to surrender to a regime which has committed genocide by the admission of the very AU which HE the Ambassador represents. This is an incontrovertible fact and one need only consult the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan – commonly known as the Obasanjo Report.”
The statement further urged the AU envoy to “to withdraw his statements and reconsider his prejudiced, hostile, anti-peace position.”