IGAD Not Neutral to Start New Talks – Dinka Elder

A prominent member of parliament (MP) and the Dinka Council of Elders (Jieng) Sunday said Ethiopian authorities and the regional bloc of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which brokered the 2015 peace deal, are not neutral for new talks.

Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey, chairman of the human rights and constitutional affairs committee at the Council of States in South Sudan parliament said IGAD and Ethiopian authorities are never neutral, and wondered how the new talks could be credible, should the region continue to take a side.

“In my opinion, the Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, ARCSS, should continue to hold and being implemented. It is a well-known fact that this agreement needs further tailoring as President Salva Kiir correctly observed in his reservations during his inking in August 2015. This is one of the reasons why the warring parties should continue dialogue and reconciliation over this “IGAD-cooked agreement,” stressed Akuey.

The official was reacting to the call by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn for a meeting of the IGAD leaders on in Addis Ababa, on Monday 12, June 2017 to discuss the escalation of violence which aggravated the humanitarian crisis in the country and more and more seen as affecting the regional stability.

“The escalation of violence and growing hostilities are casting their shadows on the national dialogue and the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. this grave situation, thus, requires us to speak with one voice,” wrote Desalegn in a letter he sent to President Salva Kiir on 29 May 2017.

The key member of the self-appointed tribal group of Dinka politicians seen as informal advisors to President Salva Kiir preferred the implementation of the 2015 peace deal to a new peace process.

“Its imperfection demonstrates the double standards acts of the mediating parties. At one point, they are working for the ’regime change’ and on the other hand, working for peace “in-good-faith.”

“IGAD and Ethiopian authorities are never neutral. However, another round of talks has no meaning, Let’s hold on this agreement and work with international community to effect its implementation within the framework of the national reconciliation,” he added.

The existence of a Nuer faction in Ethiopia was a source of concern for Juba over the involvement of Addis Ababa in the peace process and its role.

In the past, Juba objected the participation of Ethiopian peacekeepers in the UN protection force but Desalegn convinced Kiir that Ethiopia has no interest in the continuation of the conflict and pledged to prevent any support by the Ethiopian Nuer to the rebellion in South Sudan.

News Agencies