June 19, 2014 (JUBA) - A civil society group, under the banner of Bahr el Ghazal Youth Development Association (BYDA), has called on the IGAD mediation team to maintain neutrality in selection of civil society groups to the second round of an all-inclusive peace talk negotiation to end six month conflict.
“We would like to commend the mediation team, more especially General Lazaro Sumbeiyo. He is someone whose neutrality in any mediation has never been questioned and would like him and his team to demonstrate just that in our current negotiation,” Robert Majok Kuol, a BYAD member to the Addis Ababa talks, told Sudan Tribune on Thursday
Kuol, however, expressed disappointment with the mediation team over the alleged acceptance of the additional members of the faith based groups and civil society organisations from the Diaspora and other parties from those allied to the rebels under the leadership of the former vice president, Riek Machar.
He underlined that the acceptance of additional members compromises the neutrality of the mediation, adding the nomination of all the civil society representatives have already been made in a transparent manner.
“They are independent of the government and they are the ones who know exactly what happened and how it can be handled. They know the cause of the conflict,” Kuol further said.
The activist stressed that the civil society groups participating in the inclusive peace talks in Addis Ababa, capital of neighbouring Ethiopia, should be and remain neutral players.
“The role of the civil society in the talks should not be politicised. The civil society should be seen as neutral players and independent of the warring parties because they are the eyes and voices of the voiceless people. There should therefore be no such thing as equal representation in the negotiation”, said Kuol.