Today, Cde Salva Kiir appointed Taban Deng Gai to lead the reconciliation process of the members of the SPLM Polit Bureau. After the reconciliation is complete, a peace will be signed where the SPLM members will go to Juba to review the laws of the party.
It should be noted that Dr. Riek Machar accepted the reconciliation within the SPLM party and agreed with Kiir to appoint Taban to lead the group. The group of seven such as John Luk, Gier Chuang, etc are part of the reconciliation. Rebecca Nyandeng Garang also accepted and is now in Addis.
We should appreciate Dr. Riek Machar for accepting the reconciliation because there is no need for IGAD mediation if members of SPLM Polit Bureau could be reconciled.
After the reconciliation, the process of return to Juba shall commence. The first group of Rebecca Nyandeng and John Luk will go to Juba to meet cde Salva Kiir to demonstrate to the people of South Sudan that SPLM leaders have united.
Riek Machar and Taban Deng agreed to reconcile with President Kiir: SPLM internal reconciliation initiative aims to move stalled South Sudan peace talks
ADDIS ABABA (5 Mar.)–
A high-level internal reconciliation initiative within the SPLM is expected to start today or tomorrow in Addis Ababa as negotiations between the government and opposition forces remain stalled.
Luka Biong, a member of the National Liberation Council of the SPLM and a former minister in the Office of the President, told Radio Tamazuj that the reconciliation will be facilitated by representatives of the ruling parties of Ethiopia (EPRDF) and South Africa (ANC) as they have experiences relevant to the current crisis in the SPLM.
The initiative was referred to by IGAD mediators in their statement on Monday, disclosing that “a team of SPLM leadership will convene shortly, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to develop an agenda, modalities, and timeframe for Review and Self-Assessment of the SPLM.”
Envoys for the regional body IGAD chaired by the Ethiopian Prime Minister further pointed to “the need for an SPLM intra-party dialogue, and the positive contribution it could make to the broader political dialogue and national reconciliation.”
According to Biong, the party chairman Salva Kiir has appointed a preparatory committee to discuss the agenda for the next meeting of the SPLM Political Bureau. The committee includes Taban Deng, the main negotiator of the opposition forces, who is charged with treason.
Four members of the SPLM Political Bureau are set to arrive from Juba – Daniel Awet, Paul Mayom, Akol Paul, and Jemma Nunu, representing the group still aligned with Kiir, while the other four already in Addis Ababa – Deng Alor, John Luk, Kosti Manibe and Taban Deng – are either part of the opposition or the so-called ‘third party’.
Former minister of cabinet affairs Luka Biong suggested the new move will try to address the crisis in South Sudan through reconciliation within the SPLM. “Civil society organizations and other political parties should make sure that their voices are heard in setting the agenda for the SPLM Political Bureau,” he added.
Trial of four detainees
The trial of four detainees, including former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum, and the former chief of staff, Oyay Deng, together with Majak Agoot and Ezekiel Lul is expected to begin on 10 March in Juba.
Luka Biong assumes that the detainees do not have resources to hire competent lawyers except few national lawyers who volunteer.
“As President Salva has shown a commitment to reconciliation within the SPLM as reflected in his appointment of Taban Deng, who stands as well to be tried for treason charges, we expect him to show the same commitment and spirit to the release of the four detainees,” he said.
He urges “civil society organizations and peace-loving people of South Sudan and the world to call for clemency from President Salva to release Pagan, Oyay, Majak and Ezekiel for sake of peace, reconciliation and stability in South Sudan.”
“Whatever effort you can exert for the release of the four detainees will be a big service not only to the families of the detainees but also to the peace and stability in South Sudan,” Luka Biong says.
Biong is currently a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He is now in Addis Ababa to advise on the meetings.
Sudan Tribune: Kiir forms committee for SPLM leadership meeting
March 5, 2014 (JUBA)-South Sudan president Salva Mayardit has formed a preparatory committee tasked with organisation and setting the agenda of the meeting expected to bring together rival groups within the leadership of the ruling Sudan People’s liberation Movement (SPLM).
The committee consists of the following 8 members : Daniel Awet Akot, Paul Mayom, Akol Paul, Jemma Nunu, Deng Alor, John Luk Jok, Kosti Manibe and Taban Deng. It is tasked with the preparation of the agenda for the next meeting of the SPLM Political Committee.
It is not clear what issues the committee will discuss, but multiple sources and officials with direct knowledge of the arrangement have told Sudan Tribune that the focus of the meeting would be on internal reconciliation amongst the party’s leaders.
The members of the committee loyal to the government were expected to leave on Wednesday to the Ethiopian capital of Addis, where a meeting was planned to commence either on Wednesday orThursday.
The meeting is reportedly facilitated by the ruling parties of Ethiopia (EPRDF) and South Africa (ANC) as they have relevant experiences to the current crisis in the governing SPLM crisis.
Daniel Awet, a member of the political bureau and a close ally of President Salva Kiir confirmed the formation of the committee and acceptance of the head of state of the convening of such high meeting.
If held, it would be the first official meeting bringing together the rival factions within the SPLM who have had difficult time agreeing on the agenda at the level of political bureau since differences emerged.
Luka Biong Deng, a senior member of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement also confirmed the formation of the committee.
“Many people have been asking me about the committee. The Chairman of the SPLM has formed a committee”, Deng, said in an email message seen by Sudan Tribune.
He called on the civil society organisations and other political parties to help set the agenda of the meeting.
“Although the negotiations are stalled, the current focus on the reconciliation within the SPLM is a right move and civil society organizations and other political parties should make sure that their voices are heard in setting the agenda for the SPLM Political Bureau”, he adds.
While many have welcomed the significant of prioritising the internal reconciliations, several others have expressed scepticism over whether president Kiir would respect the outcome of the meeting.
“The convening of the political bureau meeting is what precipitated the violence. The President himself repeatedly refused to call it, even when influential groups, including respected personalities and religious leaders emphasised the significance of reconciliation, a dissident official within the SPLM told Sudan Tribune.
The critics charged people surrounding the president suggesting that they prevent him from listening to what is said by the others.
“Kiir does not listen. He has been spoiled by the people around him that he sees with his own eyes. The meeting he is now accepting is what he had been refusing. What purpose it will serve after the loss of thousands of lives of innocent people have been lost”, he asked.
Deng Awuol, a native of Jonglei state said the convening of the meeting was necessary because it would enable the country to move forward to ensure holding the 2015 general elections without war.
“There is no reason to hate each other. I think President Kiir will reflect on the cause of the liberation in which he spent much of his time fighting in the bush. So, I welcome the convening of this meeting if it is true that the president had accepted holding it”, Awuol said Wednesday.
Analysts and independent observers while welcoming the idea gave different interpretations, with some calling it an attempt by the government to divide and weaken the strength of the opposition.
“This is the first time I am hearing about it. Anyway, I am not surprised because politics is the art of possibilities. But what I know is that this is an attempt by the government to divide and weaken the strength of the opposition”, said a local political commentator who did not want to be identified.
“You know that Taban Deng Gai who is now on the committee has been charged with treason by the government of the president Salva Kiir. What does this mean? It means either Taban had been bought off by the government to abandon rebellion and join the government or he is sacrificing Riek Machar and his group”, he added.
Another commentator said he expects such development to have given the background of Taban Deng Gai and Major Peter Gadet Yak.
“Riek is a sacrificial lamb for the return of Taban to the fold of leadership. He is like General Peter Gadet Yak. If Riek is not careful, they can even kill him to return to the fold of leadership. We saw that in the way Gadet frequently switched side between Khartoum and several militias and the SPLA during war. Taban went with Riek in 1991 split and later returned (to the then rebel group) before Riek”, said another political commentator, also requesting anonymity.
The second commentator concluded by saying he would be surprised to see Taban rejoining the presidential clan “and leave Riek like he did before”.
Rebels downplay Salva Kiir’s formation of SPLM committee–Sudan Tribune
South Sudan president Salva Kiir has formed a preparatory committee tasked with making the arrangements for an upcoming meeting expected to bring together rival groups within the leadership of the SPLM.
The committee is a mixture of government loyalists, rebels and former detainees or third bloc officials. Its members are Daniel Awet Akot, Paul Mayom, Akol Paul, Jemma Nunu, Deng Alor, John Luk Jok, Kosti Manibe and Taban Deng Gai.
The eight-member committee will be primarily responsible for preparing the agenda for the next meeting of the SPLM political committee, which was proposed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, by the mediators of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
It is not clear what issues the committee will discuss, but multiple sources and officials with direct knowledge of the arrangement have told Sudan Tribune that the focus of the meeting would be on internal reconciliation among the party’s leaders.
However, the spokesperson for the rebel leader, Riek Machar, questioned the legality by Kiir to form such a joint committee including their senior rebel leaders.
“First of all, the proposal for internal reconciliation between the two SPLMs, as a new mechanism to try and resolve the ongoing violent conflict, was not initiated by Salva Kiir. Further, he is not the leader of some of those groups he has appointed to his committee, and therefore the formation of such a joint committee is unnecessary and procedurally illegal,” said Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak in statements to Sudan Tribune on Thursday.
He said the forum proposal was initiated by members of the IGAD mediating team, which he said the two parties had to simply study, and if acceptable, they would develop their respective positions or listen to the mediators if they have a draft.
“Kiir knows very well that, for instance, comrade Taban Deng Gai is our Chief Negotiator, whom he has no authority over him. He also dismissed him [Gai] from memberships of both the Political Bureau and SPLM party as well as charged him of alleged treason,” Dak wondered, saying the leadership of the opposition was surprised to read about it in the media.
He said the president who also chairs the party was the very person who resisted numerous calls to hold the political bureau meeting in 2013, which the rebel leader’s spokesperson said would have resolved the misunderstandings that have now “consequently culminated in the ongoing violence.”
He further added that if the government was “excited” to form a committee which included members of the opposition, the first attempt they should have procedurally done was to ‘reverse Kiir’s decrees that were based on one man’s decision to charge and dismiss at will officials from the party.”
Dak however said if there will be need for specialised committees from both sides to tackle the reconciliation process, each side in the conflict will appoint its respective committee.