ANOTHER ADDISAGREEMENT! Talks adjourn as Juba’s earthquake is felt in Addis Ababa
The Phase II, Session IV of the South Sudan Peace Process under IGAD in Addis Ababa collapsed this morning when the Opposition side boycotted the opening session over their previous demands of the ‘talks being rigged’ through unfair representation of civil society and political parties from outside Juba, plus the style of roundtable negotiation that makes them participate as ordinary parties.
“We want Don’t want cheap peace. As our hero Dr. John Garang put it at the Naivasha talks, ‘War is better than bad peace’, the SPLM-in-Opposition do not want to negotiate cosmetic solutions to the unwanted conflict that was forced on us,” said Gabriel Changson in a press conference they called alongside the opening session that flopped this morning. Mr. Changson is the current Chief Negotiator on the SPLM-in-Opposition table as Taban Deng Gai is on another mission. He is also a former minister in Kiir’s government and a head of another political party.
Following this boycott by one of the two principal parties on the negotiation table, talks collapsed again as complaints from the Opposition side have not been addressed. The SPLM-in-Opposition has boycotted the opening session and called for a separate press conference against IGAD’s process.
First, they object the round table method of negotiation that they said makes them equal to other parties. They want to be the main party negotiating directly with the Government as other stakeholders join in support. They said IGAD has created 5 tables and will consider the consensus of all the tables equally, making them look similar with other participants.
Secondly, they are still holding onto their first demand of fair inclusivity. That the other civil society organizations outside of Juba e.g. IDPs, Refugees, faith-based organizations, etc. and political party representatives from other parts of the country as well as the rebel-controlled areas have been excluded as only those from Juba are on the table.
In a press release signed by Mabior Garang de Mabior last evening, the SPLM-in-Opposition has expressed its willingness to continue with the talks but urged IGAD to response to their demands as soon as possible in order to save time, which is given as 60 days in the agreement between President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar on June 10.
Click this link for the Press Release: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wff192umkqh5rad/Press%20Release%20June%2019%202014.pdf
Meanwhile, the Govrnment Negotiation team has joined the talks after their protest over the ‘stupid’ statement by IGAD’s Executive Secretary was addressed.
CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS ON KIIR’S SPEECH TO THE PARLIAMENT ON THE EVE’S OF TALKS RESUMPTION…!
Unfortunately, President Kiir’s yesterday’s campaign speech to the National Assembly is received with utter disappointment at the Peace Venue here…
“The whole intention is to dismantle the SPLM, which they believe has become a very strong monster in South Sudan and it must be downsized to a level that gives room to be challenged and be defeated,” Mr. Kiir said.
“They intend to constitute a transitional government without me as the elected president,” Mr. Kiir said in a speech to the National Assembly.
“They want to bring somebody of their choice to be the president of that transitional government. That… is a red line,” he said to applause from the lawmakers present.
“I am very clear on this. The members of this august house were elected by their constituencies, represent them in accordance to the transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, and nobody on this earth will be allowed to dishonor their legitimacy. As the President of the Republic of South Sudan, I will never allow this thing to happen,” he said.
President Kiir should have not asked for his position at the wrong forum. She told IGAD this position in May, and that is understood. In fact, it is stalling peace negotiation process here, because mediators seem to struggle with that fact.
HOWEVER, the statement Mr. President has put below is misleading. As I can see in the hall here, nobody is intending to dismantle SPLM and eliminate it. Instead, the process is now meant to bring back the split away SPLM members i.e. The SPLM Leaders (Formr Detainees, aka, G11) and SPLM-in-Opposition, who are still maintaining the name and identity of SPLM as seen in the names.
In democratic societies, the president could be asked to withdraw his polarizing and anti-peace campaign statements. To run a misleadingly smear campaign behind somebody meaning you well is as bad as calling someone ‘stupid’. I wonder if Nhial Deng Nhial and his team, IGAD, Civil Society, G11, the Church, and Observers are planning to dismantle the SPLM i.e South Sudan even if the Opposition forces are.
And a Youtube Video of the ill-fated speech HERE>… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67qpwxB3hwg&feature=youtu.be&a