Nov 2, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — As South Sudan’s National Dialogue conference is set to Kick-off tomorrow, two main opposition parties, the Sudan’s People Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) and the National Democratic Movement (NDM) have distanced themselves from the dialogues citing lack of inclusivity and timing of the event.
According to Vincent Mark Wanga, the head of communications and information of the South Sudan National Dialogue Secretariat, the SPLM-IO declined to participate with its leader, Dr. Riek Machar saying that this is not the right time for the dialogue.
“All the political parties have confirmed their participation in this program but we only have SPLM-IO that are not going to participate in the dialogue,” Mark said.
“I was among the delegates who attended the meeting with Dr. Machar and our co-chair told him that he is now part of the government and the national dialogue is the voices of the people of South Sudan.” Mark said.
The National Dialogue committee visited Dr. Machar at his residence in Juba but again to be disappointed that the timing of the dialogue is still wrong – something Machar also said when a delegation of the national dialogue tried to visit him while in South Africa.
“It is not the voice of President Kiir or any leader. Our co-chair asked Dr. Machar why he did not join this process. He said it was something good but at a wrong time,” Mark added.
The National Democratic Movement, led by Dr. Lam Akol, also distanced itself from the National dialogues claiming that its aim has been superseded by the Peace agreement.
The NDM chairman, had written a letter to the National Dialogue Co-chair Angelo Beda calling for the speeding up of the implementation of the peace agreement instead.
“The National Democratic Movement does not see any useful purpose to be served by the South Sudan National Dialogue Conference.” Dr. Lam said.
“We should instead speed up the implementation of the relevant provisions of the R-ARCSS on the matters that are now behind schedule,” he added.
According to Dr. Lam the parties should spend time organizing workshops that are aimed to boost peace implementation such as constitution-making process workshops.
“Specifically, our attention should be focused on the holding of the workshop for the parties to agree on the details of conducting the constitution-making process (Article 6.7 of R-ARCSS).” Lam said.
Lam reiterated that the R-ARCSS is the only political process that the parties have agreed on, not the National Dialogue.
“This will be followed by the actual preparations and convening of the constitutional conference (Articles 6.8-6.16 of R-ARCSS. This is the only inclusive political process the stakeholders have agreed on and nothing should detract us from that course,” the letter continued.
The National Dialogue was initially initiated by President Salva Kiir following the breakdown of the previous peace agreement as a mean to consolidate power, something other political parties have criticized; however, the committee have continued to try to push other parties to accept and join the dialogue.