December 18, 2018 (JUBA)- Several political leaders in South Sudan have expressed a profound fear questioning the likelihood of the success of the national dialogue President Salva Kiir has announced last week, throwing into doubt the viability of the process without participation of the key and influential political leaders.
- Rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka gestures as he speaks to South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei February 1, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
Speaking in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Sunday, General Peter Gadet, one of the holdout armed opposition groups said the dialogue would not succeed because of President Kiir being the patron in addition to the venue of the dialogue.
“That dialogue is already died. Why, because the person who is part of the conflict cannot be the same person to lead such a process. President Salva is the part of the conflict and he cannot be the patron. Also the venue of the national dialogue cannot be held inside South Sudan," Gadet told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.
"A real national dialogue needs to be held outside the country if all other political and military leaders are to participate in the process of the national dialogue,” he further stressed.
Last Wednesday, Kiir launched a call for national dialogue to consolidate peace in the country, as he said.
He said the dialogue process, which will be guided by "eminent personalities and people of consensus" will involve "all the people of South Sudan".
The former Western Equatoria governor also said the national dialogue has no value because fighting is still continuing in different parts of South Sudan.
Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro said in a separate interview that guns must go silence first if the dialogue is to be conducted. He also emphasized for inclusivity, stressing that successful dialogue would include participation of other political and military leaders in and outside the country.
Also, Lam Akol, chairman of the National Democratic Movement for inclusive dialogue, stressing that embarking on a new inclusive political process outside South Sudan that will provide a forum for all to thrash out the root causes of the conflict and agree on the future of the country.
“Dialogue, according to Akol, would offer a better chance for a genuine peace to be attained in South Sudan. Peace that will pave the way for reconciliation and healing and provide a conducive atmosphere for enacting a permanent constitution for the country.
Following a special meeting on South Sudan on Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Council condemned the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the country and called on the government to put an end to widespread atrocities and bring the perpetrators of past violations to justice.
Also, the Government of South Sudan was urged to appoint a Special Representative on sexual and gender-based violence.
The head of the UN’s human rights commission for South Sudan, Yasmin Sooka, also reiterated that the country risked plunging into a crisis similar to the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.
"South Sudan stands on the brink of an all-out ethnic civil war, which could destabilize the entire region," she said.