June 26, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — During the Thursday’s meeting in Nairobi between the SPLM in Opposition and a government delegation led by the former former detainees, the group maintained that they have not joined the government, a claim that was strongly refuted by their counterparts.
According to James Gatdet Dak, the spokesperson of SPLM/A [IO] Chairman, the former political detainees “still sell the idea” of being neutral, however, the opposition do not see any logic in the claim following the reinstatement of Mr. Pagan Amum in Juba.
“They seem to sell the idea that they are not part of the government but we rejected it. Pagan is now the General Secretary, and he receives orders directly from the government. so there is no logic to sell the idea” The spokesman told Nyamilepedia editorial team.
Gatdet reiterates that the former detainees will no longer represent a separate group in the peace process but be part and parcel of the government delegations.
“We told them the talks will not be tripartite any more, these will be bilateral agreements” Mr. Dak said.
During the Thursday meeting the two factions laid out the remaining issues to be tackled over the weekend in Arusha by the delegates of the two SPLM parties, the SPLM in Government and the SPLM in Opposition.
“There is now understanding between the two parties that the Arusha reunification process of the SPLM is not complete until remaining outstanding issues are tackled between the SPLM in opposition and SPLM in government,” he said.
The opposition demands that the Arusha Party Reunification Agreement must be translated into SPLM constitution, cord of conduct and its manifesto.
According to James Gatdet, the next rounds of Arusha Reunification process will also address the SPLM leadership issues that triggered the conflict in 2013, a call that has been reiterated in Juba by the Deputy Secretary General of SPLM in Government, Dr. Ann Itto.
“It is not about Pagan Amum, what he did and what he did not do. It is about the people of South Sudan ….With our unity we will be able to address all the things that went wrong that led to the conflict, at the leadership level, that was reflected in the death of so many people”. Dr. Ann Itto says.
“So we do understand the pain of some people” she added.
Although the SPLM in government has accepted the use of secret ballot as opposed to voting by show of hands as demanded by the chairman in 2013, the opposition wants to address and include in the manifesto the term limit of the chairperson of the party.
The SPLM/SPLA-IO further blames the mediators and the government delegation for shying away from addressing the root causes of the conflict in Arusha when the factions have acknowledged and accepted responsibility for the current conflict in the country.
Asked on whether Machar would travel to Juba to be reinstated as the First Deputy chairman of the party in accordance with SPLM reunification agreement, the spokesperson said that there was understanding that the talks could not be done in Juba as the war still rages on and therefore any reinstatement cannot be done in Juba at this time until the conflict is ended.
In Juba, the Deputy Secretary of the ruling SPLM faction said that five heads of states in the region will meet with Riek to explain why he failed to travel to Juba to take the oath under the chairman, comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit.
“Five heads of states will be meeting in Arusha to talk to Riek about why he has not joined the implementation of Arusha, which is going on right now, why he has now come back to Juba” Said Dr. Ann Itto.
“Our president and chairman of SPLM will be traveling there [Arusha], …, therefore it is important for our chairman to be there among our brothers in the states to thanks them and also to show them his commitment to the peace agreement and also listen out for himself what Riek is going to tell the leaders of the region why he is not herein Juba” Dr. Ann itto briefing the media in Juba yesterday on the latest meetings that absorbed the former detainees.
According to James Gatdet, there are no plans at the movement for Dr. Riek to travel to Arusha unless there is need to do so.
He said the SPLM-IO will send its delegation to meet the SPLM-IG this weekend in Arusha Tanzania.
Gatdet further reiterates that the opposition will continue with the Arusha dialogue but argues that the Arusha SPLM party reunification will not substitute the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement.
The Opposition applauds the party reunification as a roadmap to complement the IGAD led peace process that will end the conflict and reunite the country.
The opposition calls that the conflict is no longer an internal division within the ruling party that can be repaired through Party Reunification.
Speaking to Nyamilepedia editorial team from Nairobi, Gatdet reaffirms that since the war engulfs the whole country only the IGAD-Plus peace process will be able to address the security arrangement, reparation and compensation for the victims, federalism, constitution and other reforms that are beyond the scope of the party reunification.
Reports from Juba allege that the newly reinstated Secretary General, Pagan, is likely to be the lead negotiator of the government delegation.
More arrangements are on going in Juba to assign the former detainees in government positions to finalize the revocation and reinstatement.