September 2, 2014 (JUBA) – The leader of the opposition United Sudan African Party (USAP), Joseph Ukel, has urged resident Salva Kiir to dissolve the government delegation involved in peace talks in Addis Ababa, citing “disunity” among its members.
- The leader of South Sudan’s government delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial (L), signs a ceasefire agreement aimed at ending conflict in the country following negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 23 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Birahnu Sebsibe)
Speaking to reporters in the capital, Juba, on Tuesday, Ukel said president Kiir should, as leader a registered political entity, organise a meeting before the next rounds of talks.
“In his capacity as the leader of the majority party, he (Kiir) should now call a meeting of the registered political parties to elect new members to the IGAD peace talks before the next talks begin,” said Ukel.
A rift emerged last week between the two warring parties, with the leader of political parties at the talks, Lam Akol blaming mediators from the East African regional bloc (IGAD) of tabling for signatures a proposal that was not discussed by the two rivals.
Akol said he was surprised that president Kiir signed the documents on formation of transitional government, yet it was not passed by delegates.
South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, however, accused the opposition politician of harboring ambition to lead the transitional government of national unity.
Lam (Akol) met with rebel leader Riek Machar in Addis Ababa without government knowledge, hence, leading to him being sidelined in most of discussion.
MEDIA WAR NOT HEALTHY
Meanwhile, Ukel urged the government team to desist from trading accusations in the media.
“The situation cannot remain as it is in the media. Somebody must intervene and this is why USAP is proposing that a meeting of the seventeen registered political parties should be called by the Chairman (President Kiir) or his nominated person,” he said.
Kiir is the chairman of ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party. When conflict started in December, Kiir appoint government ministers and leaders of opposition parties to the talks being host in Ethiopia.
Last week, South Sudan’s armed faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM in Opposition) led by the former vice-president Riek Machar sharply criticised IGAD for what they said was its “bias” towards president Kiir in the peace process which the regional bloc has been mediating for the past eight months.
IGAD heads of state and government on Monday in Addis Ababa signed a protocol on transitional government of national unity in which the regional leaders imposed that president Kiir remained the South Sudanese president and commander-in-chief of the army for the next two-and-a-half years until elections are conducted.
They also proposed that the Machar-led rebel group would nominate somebody to fill a new would-be prime minister’s position, but the official occupying this position would not be eligible for elections.
The regional bloc also gave a 45-day ultimatum within which the two parties should work out details of the peace agreement.