Updated at 12:35Am, Sept 17, 2014(PST)
Sept 16, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The members of SPLM-DC in Northern America condemn the South Sudan government for illegally detaining the legitimate leader of political parties, Dr. Lam Akol, in Juba.
According to James Mawich Bichok, the part’s representative to Canada, Dr. Lam Akol has been detained in Juba and prevented from leaving the capital to Addis Ababa or to any other part of the country.
The SPLM-DC Canada’ chapter calls upon the SPLM-Juba, led by Salva Kiir, to accord the political parties’ leader his rights to movements within and outside the country. The representative, Bichok, calls on the government to allow Dr. Lam to attend the peace talks in Addis Ababa.
“We, members of SPLM-DC, in Diaspora condemn such move by government in preventing legitimate leader of Political Parties to the Peace Talks in the strongest term position” the statement reads.
The SPLM-DC further urges the IGAD mediators and the international community to intervene and impose pressure on Juba to allow Dr. Lam and other politicians that are being illegally detained in Juba to travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“We members of SPLM-DC in Diaspora insist on the independence of the political parties at peace talks and called upon IGAD and the international community to bring pressure to bear on the government to immediately allow Dr. Lam Akol and his team to travel to Addis Ababa.”
Sources believes that Dr. Lam is detained in Juba for having different opinions and approaches contrary to the reluctant and intimidatory approach reportedly adopted by the government delegation in the previous round of negotiations.
Lam was accused and disowned in August by members of political parties in coalition with SPLM-DC for attending private meetings, organized by the SPLM/A (in Opposition) Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar Teny and other stakeholders.
Lam, who initially participated in the talks as a member of government delegation, has progressively distanced the political parties from the government delegation as the political oppositions seek independence in the peace talks and related processes, however, such calls did not settle well with the government.
SPLM-DC chapters in Diaspora support the chairperson’s decision and calls on Juba to avail political freedom to all political parties to independently represent themselves in the peace process.
“The government of South Sudan must respect views of other political parties in the peace process. We wondered why political parties that are part of the government should look for representation outside the government’s delegation to the talks” Bichok stated.
“we believe that the delegation of the political parties should exclusively represent the opposition parties, and not mix with government delegation.” the SPLM-DC representative emphasizes.
Bichok believes that the SPLM-DC will not withdraw from the political alliance with 18 other political parties in the country.
“We ,members of SPLM-DC in Diaspora stick to our position paper which was put together by 18 political parties on July 17,2014, and we will never ever back down on our positions as a party comes rain or sunshine. SPLM-DC will always hold up the right cause which will bring everlasting peace in our country.” Bichok said.
Dr. Lam Akol, and four other prominent politicians and stakeholders in the peace talks were prevented yesterday at about 2:30pm by government security at Juba airport from boarding to Addis Ababa.
The four other members of the delegation include Ismail Suleiman Saeed, David William Tut, Albino John Lako and Sarah Nene Redento.
The authority did not provide reasons for detaining the stakeholders, however, the Minister of Information, Micheal Makuei Lueth, believes that the politicians must follow a protocol that requires all members of government delegation to seek approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The disgruntled politicians held a press briefing at the airport and sharply denounced the government and its authority for impeding their rights of movement, apparently, accorded by the transitional constitution that Juba based government pledges to observe.
In the briefing, Dr. Lam revealed that the government plans to take over the political parties group and creates a proxy oppositions that would comprise of members of government in disguise to influence decision as a separate bloc in the peace talks.
In August, the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth, stressed that any agreement that is agreed by three groups but objected by the two other groups must be invalidated. Such proposal suggests that an agreement must be agreed by four or all the five groups.
According to Dr. Lam, the government will practically own two delegations, a real government delegation and a compromised delegation.
Lam believes that the government delegation is becoming more hostile in the peace talks, which are currently moved from the capital to interior of the country. The talks are moved to Bahir Dar, capital of the Amhara region of Ethiopia for unexplained reasons.
Dr. Lam has denounced and denied the IGAD protocol that was to be imposed on the South Sudanese and blames Salva Kiir for signing a smuggled document that was not negotiated by the people of South Sudan.
The political parties are, nevertheless, managing internal issues in the coalition as some politicians no longer approve Dr. Lam as their representative.
According to Dr. Lam, the four politicians who denounced his roles last month in Addis Ababa are being aided by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and insinuated by the Minister of Information to rift the faults apart in the coalition.
More signatories have defected from the coalition, however, the DC members are calling upon the government to respect the political parties, their rights and freedoms.
In other reports, the SPLM-in Opposition and SPLM-FPD urge the SPLM-Juba to free Dr. Lam and other politicians to attend the peace mediation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“It is important for them to be around,” Said Dr. Dhieu Mathok, deputy head of the SPLM-IO delegation.
“They must participate because they are part of the multi-stakeholders delegations.” Dr. Dhieu added.