REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
NATIONAL DIALOGUE STEERING COMMITTEE (NDSC)
THE OFFICE OF CO-CHAIR,
Rt. HON. ANGELO BEDA,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2017(Nyamilepedia)– The News report published on Radio Tamazuj website on June 5, 2017 which alleged that the National Dialogue Co-Chair, Rt. Hon. Angelo Beda “Support plans to block Machar’s return to Juba” was completely misleading, deliberate distortion if not malicious.
The news report was misleading . Firstly, in the same article it stated, the Co-Chair pointed out that “the dialogue’s steering committee would ask President Kiir to allow Machar to return to Juba” and furthermore, the report added that the President had pledged to, “Provide protection to all armed groups, including representatives of Machar’s faction”.
How can the Co-Chair then be accused of allegedly supporting plans to block Machar’s return to Juba while at the same time he and his team are working towards persuading the President to allow Dr. Riak Machar’s final return to South Sudan? This was a deliberate misleading and contradictory statement by Radio Tamazuj.
The National Dialogue Steering Committee (NDSC) position on the participation has been clear that it must be inclusive to all. The Steering committee further affirmed its plan to facilitate the dialogue by ensuring that all the stakeholders take part in a more inclusive, transparent, open and participatory manner.
In this connection, during the interview with Tamazuj, Hon Beda elaborated that “Riek Machar is a South Sudanese. He has his birth right to return to the country as any normal citizen”. This in itself confirms that there is no plan to block neither Dr. Riak Machar nor anyone from participation in the “ND”.
Hon. Angelo Beda emphasized that the declared unilateral ceasefire and the release of all political prisoners by the President as well as other gestures of good will were important positive steps taken by the President to create a conducive environment for the National Dialogue. In this respect, Dr. Riak Machar is equally expected to take a gesture of goodwill by reviewing his earlier declaration of “Armed Resistance” made in Khartoum.
The President does not intend to block Dr. Riak Machar from participation in the National Dialogue since he has already welcomed the participation of Machar’s Delegation. The other critical observation, which is necessary to keep in mind, is that Dr. Riak’s earlier insistence on “Armed Resistance”, both explicit and latent contradicts the basic principles of a peaceful National Dialogue (ND). Thus, If Dr. Machar is for peace and stability of the country, he can accept the proposal for non violence and peaceful resolution of the conflict through a credible and transparent National Dialogue (ND) and such a gesture would be highly appreciated by everyone and therefore, he would be most welcome to participate in the ND.
The national dialogue initiative is both a forum and process through which the people of South Sudan shall gather to address the root causes of their conflict, redefine the basis of their unity as it relates to nationhood, citizenship and belonging, as well as the restructure of the state institutions for national inclusion and stability. The key objective is to end the conflict and usher a new era of sustainable peace, reconciliation and to prepare for a national election.
The Co-Chair Rt. Hon. Beda has expressed his concern over the misleading reporting by Radio Tamazuj and cautions the respected broadcasting media to be accurate and balanced in the coverage of events in the country. # # #
For more information contact: (1) Ms Patricia William Zaza (Secretary to the Co-Chair – Tell: +211 955 28 77 18) (2) Mr. Vncent Wang (ND Committee for Information- Tell: + 211 954 74 20 17)