March 23, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Members of South Sudan’s SPLM FDs, who just returned from exile, have called on the Minister of Finance, Hon. Deng Athorbei, to withdraw his hotel eviction notice.
On March 19th, the Minister of Finance and Economic planning, Hon. Deng Athorbei, sent out a strict note to members of SPLM/SPLA-IO and SPLM-FD warning them that the Kiir’s government (SPLM-IG) will stop paying for their accommodation effective from March 24th, a dateline that was too soon but not surprising to the returning politicians.
Despite the economic hardship and lack of finances to run government programs in the country, Hon. Deng explains that the peace partners are being evicted from hotels for failing to show commitment towards the implementations of the Peace Agreement, signed in August last year.
“Over three months have passed and we are seeing no concrete steps taken for implementation of peace agreement. In the light of the above quoted reality, the government has no fund to continue paying accommodation in hotel indefinitely. Therefore, this letter is to convey to your honor that the government will not pay for the accommodation of Former Detainees Team with effect from March 24th, 2016” The Minister of Finance wrote, addressing Deng Alor.
Aggravated by the above statement and the dates on the notice , Deng Alor, a former Minister of cabinet affairs, disputes the statement and clarifies that the FDs only received the letter on March 21 as opposed to March 19.
At the time of this writing, it was yet to be clarified how such an important document took more than 48 hours to be delivered to officials within small Juba town.
To Deng Alor, the former detainees, whose leader remains in exile, have done their part in implementation of peace agreement and should not be blamed for any stumbling block in the process.
“Therefore, if the reason for termination of our accommodation is due to the above stated “lack of concrete steps taken towards the implementation of the peace agreement”, then we cannot be faulted for this because we have discharged all that was required of us by the agreement” Deng Alor states.
According to Deng Alor, the FD came to Juba four times before the signing of the peace agreement to show their desire and commitment to the achievement of peace and reconciliation in the country.
Hon. Alor also believes that the detainees deserve more credits for having arrived earlier in Juba and for having brought part of SPLM/SPLA-IO in peace to the national capital, a statement he also made as a joke to president Kiir during the national convention of the SPLM-IG in Juba.
In additon, Alor also remind the Minister of Finance of how they came to Juba on assurance of accommodation and security by the government, and believes that this is not the right time for the government to terminate its support.
“Finally, we came to Juba on the strength of the government’s assurance of security and accommodation. As implementation of the peace agreement is still to be earnestly pursued, it remains the responsibility of the government to facilitate the process including the provision of security and accommodation for the group and others connected with the mechanism for the implementation of the agreement.” Said Deng Alor.
Alor and his comrades were evicted from their homes between December 16-19, 2013 and taken to prison on allegations of a coup that later collapse.
After serving months of prison, the once senior politicians and generals in the SPLA military were force to exile for fear of their lives. Today, the senior politicians and elderly veterans have no secure home in a country they fought hard to liberate. It not yet clear if the politicians will return to exile or seek UN protection in the capital.