Political parties dismiss agreement, accuse IGAD of inconsistency

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South Sudan political parties have criticised the agreement signed last week in Addis Ababa between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar as lacking in solutions to the root causes of the conflict, and accused the regional mediation body of inconsistency.

South Sudan political parties have criticised the agreement signed last week in Addis Ababa between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar as lacking in solutions to the root causes of the conflict, and accused the regional mediation body of inconsistency.

 

They say the document did not come with something new as it only reaffirmed previous agreements and only concentrated on dividing power between the two warring sides.

“The root causes of the current devastating war are brushed aside as if tens of thousands of our citizens who died were killed so that so and so becomes or remains a President, Prime Minister or first Vice President,” the Political Parties Leadership Forum (PPLF) said in a press release.

The parties further accused the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediators of inconsistency stressing that such change of position on issues brings confusion on the citizens. They said the IGAD last August came up with President/Prime Minister formula and in the current basis of talks, they changed to President/First Vice President format.

“As if this was not enough, they introduced a regional element into the equation when the talks have all along been between political entities. Such inconsistency serves the interest of the warring parties neatly as it promotes their delaying tactics in stalling the talks,” say the Political Parties statement.

The parties have urged IGAD mediators to correct its mistakes and bring the mediation back to multi-stakeholders format, arguing that multi stakeholder talks would ensure inclusivity and addressing the root causes to the conflict.

The statement by PPLF was signed by 18 Political Parties. It accused the two warring parties and the IGAD mediators of neglecting burning issues that include corruption, atrocious crimes, and critical reforms of governance, economy and security while narrowing the negotiation to bilateral talks rather than multi-stakeholder.

They described as a joke a phrase in the agreement document that includes the former political detainees and other political parties as “witnesses to the agreement”, saying they are only adding insult to injury after retaining the “lion’s share” in the decision making process.

“It is to be noted that the agreement retained the decision making process of 90% to the principal and executive while 10% is shared between the other political parties and former detainees,” they say.

The parties accuse the IGAD mediators of chickening out when government prevented political parties’ delegation to the peace talks late last year, stressing that since then, the talks have developed gradually into a two-party issue with full support of IGAD.

The parties argue that their exclusion from participation emanate from their interest to address the root causes of the problem while accusing the warring parties to the conflict of only being concerned about dividing the cake, questioning “why should the cake be divided on the skulls of our innocent people?”

They also demanded the release of the African Union Commission of Inquiry Report to identify those implicated in atrocious crimes.

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