Uganda says not aware of SPLM reunification group deadlock
The government of Uganda said it was not aware of any deadlock among members of the working group comprising members of the three fragmented factions of South Sudan’s ruling SPLM.
Those who formed a working group for reunification matrix include the faction loyal to President Salva Kiir, the SPLM-IO breakaway group in Juba led by Taban Deng and SPLM-FDs, which is a faction made up of party senior officials who were detained when the conflict began in December 2013.
Delegates from the three factions of the party had accepted a reunification initiative mediated by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to lay out steps toward reunification of the fragmented party in South Sudan.
Betty Bigombe, a focal point appointed by Uganda’s President on SPLM reunification, told Radio Tamazuj this afternoon that she was not aware that the reunification efforts have stalled because the working group could not come together to work on the reunification matrix from one place.
“It is unfortunate because I have not heard of any disagreement on the location. If they have been trading accusations, they have kept it to themselves, and not contacted me about it,” she said.
Bigombe pointed out that the meeting between the fragmented SPLM factions will take place soon in Uganda, pointing out that the Ugandan president Yuweri Museveni was busy with other commitments that delayed the reunification meeting.
“As a matter of fact, it was only last night that I contacted President Museveni to establish his availability so that the meeting can take place,” said Bigombe.
“We now have to work on the technical aspect of the reunification. It is a very positive development, it is no longer an issue being in intensive care unit,” he she added.
The Ugandan official denied knowledge of differences between representatives of the working group formed to develop the reunification matrix. “I am not aware of any dispute and if there is any dispute, none of them has brought it to my attention or to the attention of President Museveni,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Secretary General of the SPLM-IO faction loyal to Taban Deng Gai, Dhieu Mathok Diing said the group had not made any progress because two members of the SPLM-FDs faction who are part of the working group for reunification matrix failed to show up for a meeting in Juba.
For his part, the former detainees’ spokesman Kosti Manibe Ngai said that the reunification meeting did not take place because two teams from Juba failed to show up in Uganda.