US Juba envoy criticizes involvement of South Sudan officials in Sudanese peace talks

Photo: The US Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek speaks during a press conference at the US embassy in Juba, South Sudan, on December 19, 2019 |Credit | PETER LOUIS/AFP via Getty Images.

December 19th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The United States ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek has criticized the involvement of South Sudan government officials in the ongoing Sudanese peace talks in Juba saying they should focus on implementing their own deal because it is hard to do two jobs.

South Sudan government officials are mediating between Sudanese government and rebel movements from the country’s restive regions Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan.

Speaking to reporters in Juba on Wednesday, Hushek said he was concerned over the involvement of South Sudan officials in the Sudanese peace talks saying they should be implementing their own deal.

“I have been very concerned from the beginning that South Sudan’s role in the Sudan peace talks doesn’t be a distraction to doing what they need to be doing for their own peace process here,” the US envoy said.

Currently, five South Sudan senior government officials form the mediation team of the Sudanese peace talks. They include the minister in the office of the president, Mayiik Ayii Deng, minister of electricity and dams, Dhieu Mathok Diing, former deputy governor of Central Equatoria, Manase Lomule, national security chief, Akol Koor, and presidential advisor on security, Tut Gatluak.

Gatluak is also the chairperson of the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) which is mandated by the revitalized agreement signed by President Kiir and opposition groups last year to prepare for a 36-month transitional government of national unity.

“In fact many of the people who are in the government that are working on the Sudan peace talks are supposed to be working day in day out on the South Sudan peace process and they haven’t been doing that job full time,” Hushek added.

The US diplomat further said having two jobs is “a big problem” saying it is “a distraction” to peace efforts in South Sudan.

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