JOHANNESBURG, December11– South Sudan President Salva Kiir has criticised the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), for failing to take into account his government’s views in a report which endorsed the high-level revitalisation of peace talks, the Sudan Tribune reports.
“I write to register my sincere disappointment, on behalf of the transitional government of national unity, on the IGAD council of ministers sideline meeting of the November 28, 2017, held in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, in which progress towards the conduct of the high-level revitalisation was discussed in absence of South Sudan”, his December 6 letter reads in part.
In June, a summit of IGAD heads of state and government decided to convene a meeting of the signatories of the South Sudan peace agreement to discuss ways to revitalise the peace process.
During the June summit, it was agreed that all groups be included in the discussion aimed at restoring a permanent ceasefire and IGAD subsequently unveiled the timetable for the revitalisation forum which ended on 17 October.
“The report in the main epitomises views of the FDS (former detainees) and other opposition groups. The TGONU (Transitional Government of National Unity) only presented to the IGAD council of ministers, during its visit to Juba from November 13- 14, a combination of elucidations and preliminary proposals,” wrote Kiir.
“The response of the IGAD to the TGONU, as submitted by Ismail Waise, was superficial, completely failing to satisfactorily respond to the questions advanced by TGONU”, Kiir wrote.
The South Sudan president further accused IGAD’s special envoy of failing to engage the coalition government on its views as well as position, adding that Juba would not accept the pre-forum report by Waise, despite its endorsement by the IGAD council of ministers.
Juba that the revitalisation forum by the regional bloc, which mediated the 2015 peace deal, should not be another platform for negotiations of the peace accord between the two factions to the conflict.
Over a million people have fled South Sudan since conflict erupted in December 2013 when President Kiir sacked Dr Riek Machar, the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) who is currently in exilein South Africa, from the vice-presidency.
The ongoing conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over two million, in the worst violence the world’s newest country has witnessed since it ceded from the north in 2011.
– African News Agency (ANA)