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LONDON - 15 Mar 2019

PDM says excluded from peace consultations

Photo: Hakim Dario
Photo: Hakim Dario

Hakim Dario, leader of the opposition People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), said his party has been excluded from consultations conducted by the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan with non-signatory groups.

The PDM which calls for a federal government with three regions in South Sudan is a non-signatory of the revitalised peace deal.

The IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais recently held consultative meetings with the leader of the rebel group South Sudan United Front (SSUF) Gen. Paul Malong and Gen. Thomas Cirillo of National Salvation Front (NAS) to discuss ways to join the peace process.

Hakim Dario said in a letter addressed to Ismail Wais on Thursday that the East African regional bloc held a series of meetings with armed groups and excluded his party.

"The selective consultations with NAS, SSUF/A and Oyai Deng is seemingly because they are all military generals with the potential to use armed means if not already doing so as in the case of NAS against government aggression on their positions in Yei," said Dario.

The opposition official complained of what he described as discriminatory approaches by the office of the IGAD mediator.

The group reiterated its calls on the East African bloc of nations IGAD to open the revitalised peace agreement for amendments.

In November 2018, the IGAD Council of Ministers directed the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan to reach out to any warring groups who are not signatories to the peace deal.

The regional bloc warned that the non-signatory groups would be categorized as spoilers of the peace process if they reject peace.