This article was last updated on May 27, 2022
Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro said, “This morning (Saturday) on 27th of September 2014 we met as legally registered political parties of South Sudan to review the position we took on the 10th of September 2014 regarding the representation of the Political Parties in the peace talks going now in Ethiopia town of Bahir Dar. Of course we heard from our representative in Bahir Dar that IGAD and the leadership of Seyoum Mesfin have decided to reject the participation of the delegation and was demanding individuals, contrary to the mandate that they have,” he explain
“And recognizing the importance of the Political Parties as key stakeholders in the peace talks, we met today and we have just completed our meeting and resolve some of the important things that are read out in the statement,” he said.
In the statement to the media shortly after the meeting, Dr. Lomuro, who chaired the meeting, said that what IGAD did will undermine the achievement of peace in South Sudan.
According to the statement, the parties have accepted the dismissal of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin as the chairperson of the political parties’ delegation in the delegation of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. The parties also agreed on the new replacement as Ustaz Francis Ben Ataba who leads United Democratic Salvation Front Mainstreams.
“We now insist that the IGAD Mediators recognize that IGAD has no constitutional and legal right to chooserepresentation for the political parties in the Peace Talks, unconditionally allow their representatives to participate fully in the talks,” the statement reads.
“We call upon IGAD Mediators to recognize seriously that political parties are key stakeholders in the context of the current conflict; and that their absence in the talks will seriously undermine the achievement of peace in our Country and we will hold IGAD responsible” Dr. Lomuro said.
The Political Parties Leadership Forum (PPLF) meeting was chaired by Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, leader of South Sudan Democratic Forum (SSDF) Party and was attended by eleven political parties of South Sudan in the PPLF office on Saturday.
Dr. Lomuro said that in case the IGAD Mediators cannot response to their proposal, they will take further action. “We will take further action,” he said when asked about what they would do if IGAD mediators don’t accept what they are saying.
South Sudan Multi Stakeholders peace talks began on Tuesday, September 23rd 2014. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Makuei Lueth said in Bahir Dar Tuesday that they began the talks sitting as the negotiating team. “The political parties delegation will join us when their problem is resolved. As for the Civil Society, theFaith Based Group and the Women Bloc, they are attending as observers to the process,” he said.
“We started today with an agenda which was agreed yesterday (Monday) that (1) We start with the system ofgovernance, (2) function and the powers of the transitional government of National Unity and (3) structures of the Transitional Government of National Unity ” said government spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth on Tuesday in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
The Multi Stakeholders team is comprised of the Government of South Sudan, the SPLM/A In Opposition and the former detainees while others like the Faith Based Groups and the Civil Society are observers at the talks.