S. Sudan president rejects new talks with holdout opposition

from Sudan Tribune
Published on 10 Aug 2017 View Original

August 10, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudan president, Salva Kiir has vowed not to accept any new peace talks with holdout opposition, accusing his opponents of putting personal ambitions above common interests.

Kiir told the visiting German foreign minister on Thursday that the national dialogue was the only forum through which people with legitimate concerns could be addressed, instead of renegotiating the agreement to accommodate and share power with individuals whom he claimed have placed personal ambitions above common interests.

"Most of the issues in the agreement have been implemented. The government has been formed, the transitional national legislative assembly has been reconstituted, the membership of the constitutional review committee is complete. The members are working with the ministry of justice and all the stakeholders to gather and incorporate what they are doing in the constitution”, said the South Sudanese leader.

He said he also declared and launched the national dialogue to accelerate and complement the implementation process of the peace agreement and return the country to path of peace, harmony and unity.

“There is already a national dialogue and President Museveni Yoweri of Uganda is trying to reunify SPLM leadership. All these are efforts to stop the war and bring peace to the country but yes, there are people advocating war and want new peace talk. We don’t understand what actually they want because the peace which they wanted to be implemented is being implemented. The national dialogue is also opened to all, it is inclusive. The committee wanted to meet with them but they refused”, said Kiir.

He called on the international community to help his administration convince the hold out opposition denounce violence, put down weapons, respond to his amnesty and return to the country to participate in the national dialogue.

“Since the agreement is being implemented, there is no reject to start new talks and the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) supports the national dialogue. The international community should also play a role and ensure that these people denounce violence so that they can participate in the national dialogue. It is a national forum where all the issues can be discussed and we are ready to listen to them and take appropriate where our actions and roles are required”, he said.

Meanwhile the German Foreign Affairs minister, Sigmar Gabriel told reporters in the capital, Juba that he requested President Kiir to involve all the political parties in the ongoing national dialogue process in order to achieve lasting peace in the country.

Gabriel, who arrived in Juba on Thursday met Kiir over a number of issues including, the national dialogue, humanitarian situation and revitalization of the peace agreement.

The German official said it was important to include the opposition in the national dialogue.

“We need to involve and include all stakeholders here, all parties in this process, and we need to promote the integration of the opposition into this as well,” said Gabriel.

“I think we need to also send important messages of understanding," he added.

President Kiir, the German foreign affairs minister stressed, assured him of resolve to release from prison those who had supported the rebels to join the peace process.

“I believed is very important for political reconciliation," stressed Gabriel.

South Sudan has been in turmoil since December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of an attempted coup. Since then, tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million displaced in the country’s worst ever violence.