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S. Sudan’s Kiir appoints Rebecca Garang to the National Dialogue

Rebecca Garang (Al Jazeera Photo)

April 25, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Tuesday has appointed Rebecca Garang, the widow of late SPLM founding leader John Garang and a political rival, to the National Dialogue committee.

In a decree read on state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) on Tuesday evening, President Kiir also appointed Transport Minister John Luk and former finance minister Kosti Manibe.

The duo together with Rebecca Garang are members of the Former Political Detainees (FDs), the politicians President Kiir detained and accused of treason for months at the onset of conflict in 2013. They were released when the government dropped the evident under pressure from the international community.

The appointment comes after a recent meeting a delegation from the opposition Former Detainees led by Rebecca Garnag held with President Yoweri Museveni over ways end the war and hold an inclusive process to end the over three-year conflict.

After the meeting she told Sudan Tribune that the meeting with the Ugandan president “focused on how to unite the different political groups in South Sudan".

She further said the national dialogue should be inclusive to realise freedom, sets control over security organs and meets requirements of the 2015 peace agreement between the government with the armed and non-armed opposition.

The Former Detainees are party to the Transitional Government of National Unity formed in April 2016 following the August 2015 peace agreement.

The national dialogue announced in December 2016 has not kicked off its work. The government cited lack of funds but the opposition, including the FDs, have criticised the strategy as a tactic to escape implementation of the provisions of the shaky peace agreement.

The new members to the national dialogue include Sudanese and Ugandans.

John Luk works with President Kiir in Juba but Mrs Garang and Manibe are outside the country. It is not immediately clear if they will accept to work with the dialogue committee.

(ST)