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South Sudan accuses opposition leader of presidential ambition

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September 5, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government has claimed that the opposition leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) – the second largest political party in the country – is harbouring ambitions to be president of the proposed interim government.

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Leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), Lam Akol (AFP)

The allegations were made after Lam Akol reportedly questioned the authenticity of a regional proposal to form the basis of peace negotiations between the country’s warring parties, which are currently being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“Lam Akol has every right to say that we (the government) are not serious [about the agreement] because he wanted to be the transitional president. So he is justified because we did not allow him to achieve his objective,” South Sudan’s information minister, Micheal Makuei Lueth, said on Friday.

“The document which we signed, we presumed it was the document which the systematic committee prepared and gave to IGAD, so when it was brought to the leaders of IGAD, we signed because we want peace by all means. We did not go to Addis in search for [government] positions, we went there in search for peace and any document that we believe will contribute in bringing peace, we will sign,” he added.

Lueth was reacting to comments last week by Akol in which he said he had no knowledge of the framework agreement.

“The text that the IGAD and president [Salva] Kiir signed didn’t come from us. It wasn’t developed by us. Nobody knows where it was brought from,” Akol told reporters after returning from talks between the rival parties and other stakeholders in Addis Ababa.

However, Lueth hit back at the claims, saying Akol denied any knowledge because he thought he would be the head of the transitional government.

IGAD has been attempting to broker a political settlement to the South Sudan crisis, which erupted in mid-December last year, pitting government troops against rebel forces aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar.

However, the document has also been strongly criticised by lead rebel negotiator Taban Deng Gai, accusing IGAD mediators of bias and describing the protocol of agreed principles as favouring the government.

On Monday, Machar, who was attending the 27th extraordinary session of the IGAD leaders’ summit devoted to discussing the crisis, declined to sign the document in its entirety, instead reaffirming his commitment to a January cessation of hostilities agreement.

Observers and his supporters say Machar refused to sign the complete document, which was signed by IGAD leaders, including president Kiir, as some clauses exclude his role in the transitional administration and bar him from aspiring for any public office in future national elections at the conclusion of the transitional period.

MACHAR UNLIKELY TO ACCEPT PM ROLE

The document states that the head of state and government, being also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, will be the elected incumbent president, to be deputised by the vice-president.

According to the same protocol, “The prime minister shall be nominated by the SPLM/A in Opposition and shall be acceptable to the president,” although the prime minister will not be eligible for elections after the 30-month period expires.

Observers say this implies that Machar is likely to emerge as the country’s next and first ever prime minister should he be nominated by the rebel faction, forcing president Kiir to swallow his previous rejection to the creation of a prime ministerial position in his government.

However, analysts have observed that, if nominated, Machar would not be willing take up the position, given that it limits his ambition to participate in the next elections.

Meanwhile, Akol earlier pointed out restoring peace to the fragile nation depended on the commitment of two warring parties.

The opposition leader branded the government delegation as being “abusive” and showing disrespect to the mediation process.

“The government delegation didn’t do well. They need to change if they are to bring peace. They will have to work hard,” he told journalists.

“As a negotiator you don’t have to be abusive. You need not to quarrel, but be persuasive because you are up for a bargain,” Akol added.

Although consensus among all stakeholders on issues of governance may be difficult to achieve, he said all parties must concede that peace is a fundamental issue.

“As we know peace is a central issue to all; the political parties, rebels and government too. And no one party should have its self interest supersede the national interest if we really need peace,” the opposition leader said.

When asked to respond to accusations that he had held secret talks with Machar, Akol explained that his reason for going to Addis Abba was to talk to anyone involved in restoring peace in South Sudan, maintaining there was nothing particularly secretive about the talks.

“We were there to talk. As political parties we had to talk to all other parties. This is important because you will know their point of view and if there are different viewpoints that is when we have to make them understand to reach the compromise in order to have peace,” Akol said.

(ST)

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  • 6 September 2014 09:04, by Dengic

    Of course,Lam and Machar are of the same characters. They are different bodies striking in the same direction. Both of them wanted to kill Dr. Garang using fake Nessir declaration which culminated in Machar running to his husband Bashir. Machar is sick, he might not come back from South Africa and Lam is aging, soon he will be history. South Sudan will only be peaceful if we get rid of Machar.

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    • 6 September 2014 15:31, by Ito

      Who are Dinkas to Dr. Lam. Dinka are illiterate animal. What is wrong with having an ambition? he has the right to stand for any position. This country is not for dinka like how it is being branded now. Salva must step aside and leave way for intellectuals and normal persons to run this country.

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  • 6 September 2014 09:09, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Where is security organ to arrest Lam Akol, because he is part of rebellion and part of the fall of the country in to scale of gennocide. Let him save his life in captivity.

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  • 6 September 2014 09:37, by marie

    What do you expect Lam Akol if a government is run by primitive people like those of Michael Makuei and Ateny Wek Ateny. They don’t have any protocol of addressing issues. I am sure the BA in law he obtained from Khartoum was just nominal, the guy does not understand a shit. Alas for South Sudan.

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    • 6 September 2014 10:41, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      You need to be objective and stop expressing utmost stupidity with such empty statements from your shallow and myopic brain. It’s public knowledge that Lam Akol and Riak Machar are both traitors since 1991 when they stabbed the liberation struggle in the back, tried to kill Dr. John Garang and worked tirelessly with the enemy to destroy the movement, at the expense of the people of South Sudan.

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    • 6 September 2014 10:47, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      These same selfish traitors and betrayers of the people of South Sudan, after failing in their tireless attempts to ascend to power with the help of the enemy, after several massacres of the people of South Sudan, begged to return to the SPLM when they realized that the liberation struggle was about to succeed, and for the sake of unity, Dr. John Garang allowed them to return to the movement.

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    • 6 September 2014 10:52, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      However, these traitors were not sincere and grateful and they did not return in good faith, and they continued to harbor their selfish ambitions of rising to power by all means, at the expense of the people of South Sudan. Up to now, they have never given up their evil intentions and have continued working tirelessly to achieve their selfish ambitions by all means, at the expense of the people

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    • 6 September 2014 10:55, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      If it was not for traitor Lam Akol and Riek Machar, who betrayed the people of South Sudan, misguided his people and stabbed the liberation struggle in the back, South Sudan would have attained Independence, long time ago during the 1990s. Since Anyanya 1 when Salva Kiir was still a young man, he has been struggling for the cause of the people of South Sudan, not because he wanted to be President

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    • 6 September 2014 11:03, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      Riek Machar is a total failure and good for nothing. He wasted time visiting IGAD countries hoping they would support him, but it was just a waste of time because his record is clear since 1991 that he betrayed the people of South Sudan and has failed politically, militarily and diplomatically. Even the west has turned against him because he is only fighting selfishly for power. What a shame

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    • 6 September 2014 11:07, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      IGAD Heads of State are not stupid and after making in-depth analysis of the situation in South Sudan, they have all clearly understood that the real problem of South Sudan is Riek Machar and they have made the most logical conclusion that South Sudan shall never have a bright future unless Riek Machar, the chief traitor & betrayer of the people is forever removed from the future of our nation

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  • 6 September 2014 13:05, by John mamer

    They would be known as people who stub the movement at the back , we will forgive them but history will not,those were statements from late hero dr John

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  • 6 September 2014 19:49, by marie

    People keep assassinating the Characters of Riak Machar and Lam Akol because they are not Dinkas. A lot of people broke from the movement when their lives were endangered. Names like Thon Arok thon, Garbino and many others now serving in the government. If those of Martin Majuet who are now claimed to be pillars were selling SPLM IDs to Nigerians and left for Canada with all the documents.

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  • 6 September 2014 22:37, by Daniel Deng Monyde

    This is not character assassination but putting facts straight according to history and we cannot deny history, nor can we change it. Riek Machar and Lam Akol are traitors who betrayed the liberation struggle and the people of South Sudan, and have continued to do so. Even Dr. John Garang said that, "we can forgive them, but history will not", and for sure, history is now judging them harshly

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  • 7 September 2014 08:56, by Active man

    Lam Akol has a right to rule this country regardless of hatred some Dinka had in mind.@Daniel Deng u need to verify your statement about Riek Machar,Riek will rule this country whether u like it or not.just continue with your frequent looting,corruptions n killing of innocent civilians in Juba.

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    • 7 September 2014 09:21, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      Inactive or Reactive man, whatever you call yourself. No one is prevented from expressing his aspirations for Presidency, as long as it is done democratically by seeking the mandate of the people through elections, not through treachery and dubious underhand methods at the expense of the people of South Sudan like the approach of traitor Riek Machar and Lam Akol, who have always betrayed the peopl

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    • 7 September 2014 09:33, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      H.E. Salva Kiir was democratically elected by the People and has the mandate of the People, to whom the power belongs, and Lam Akol was properly defeated by a landslide victory in 2010. If the traitor wants to be President, he should wait for the next elections and contest, and so should Chief traitor Riek, not by selfishly killing innocent people for the sake of power. Historical failed losers!!!

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  • 8 September 2014 07:22, by Active man

    south Sudan election was done before independence,what legitimacy killer Salvatore had in this country.legitimate is a person elected with Constitutions,our current constitutions made one year after the election so which is which!!I know the only thing u guys depend killer cowboy is corruptions that u know should be change in Machar administration.shame on u, south Sudanese people are watching you

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    • 9 September 2014 09:02, by Daniel Deng Monyde

      Stop exposing your ignorance.Elections were duly conducted in 2010 as prescribed by the CPA & elected leaders obtained legitimacy by the mandate of the people.When H.E.Salva made popular reforms by creating a lean government to decrease government administrative expenditure,enhance service delivery & fight corruption by sacking a corrupt cabinet,Riek led the corrupt group to fight these reforms

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