Updated at 3:15Am, August 18, 2014(PST)
August 18, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s SPLM/SPLA leadership dispatched an advance delegation to the neighboring Uganda to meet the Ugandan’s president, Yoweri Museveni.
According to James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesperson, who was contacted by Nyamilepedia team in Uganda, the heavily staffed delegation comprises of the Deputy chairperson of SPLM/SPLA(in opposition), Lt. Gen. Alfred Lado Gore, SPLM/SPLA chairman for National Committee for Political Mobilization, Dr. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, chairperson for external relations, Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing and five other elites through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Gatdet confirmed that the team will be joined later in the evening by Capt. Mabior Garang de Mabior, the chairperson for information and public relations and others elites, who will connect to Kampala from Nairobi, Kenya.
The team led by the deputy chairperson, Gen. Lado Gore is expected to be arriving in Entebe this afternoon. This will be the second time the high level delegation visits Uganda since the conflict began in December 2013.
Last month Dr. Oyet emphasized how important it is for the opposition to meet the Uganda authority in an effort to stabilize peace in Great Lake Region.
“As the IGAD led peace talks enters a critical stage, the leadership of SPLM/A takes the opportunity of extending its visitation to Uganda. Uganda is one of the principal members of East African community, IGAD and a major player in the great lakes region.” said Prof. Oyet, the former head of Political Science Department at Juba University.
South Sudan’s armed opposition has been at a loggerhead with the Ugandan president for his role in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced over 1.5 million population, mostly from the Greater Upper Region.
The delegation arrived in Entebe earlier last month, however, returned from the airport to Addis Ababa after the Ugandan government failed to receive them.
Nyamilepedia’s editorial team on the ground has learned that the team, this time, would be received by Museveni’s government.
The delegation is expected to brief the South Sudanese communities in the country after meeting president Museveni and his government.
Museveni’s government has shown interest to meet Dr. Riek Machar, the chairman and the commander in chief of the opposition, following months of fierce battles in an attempt to crush a rebellion that has instead continued to strengthen.
Machar, however, has focused on visiting the IGAD members states except Uganda, which directly participates in the conflict.
Machar has visited Kenya, Djibouti, South Africa and Sudan. The aim of the tour is to sensitize the region on the rebels’ perspectives on what transpired in December and how the opposition plans to resolve it.
Machar has calls on president Museveni, the region and South Sudan government to withdraw the Ugandan People Defence Force(UPDF) and other foreign contributors from the country. President Salva Kiir, however, fights back that the foreign forces must safeguard his leadership, and therefore, must not leave the country until further notice.
Machar argues that the Ugandan army fuels the conflict and violates the ceasefire agreement, which expects all the foreign forces to leave the country.
President Museveni has admitted, in front of IGAD leaders, during the May 10th Agreement that there was no coup attempted in Juba as his embattled counterparts claims.
Machar has congratulated president Museveni for taking the bold step to denounce South Sudan’s government version of the conflict, however, South Sudan’s ambassador to Uganda believes that Museveni’s comment was misrepresented.