October 29, 2020 (JUBA) – The leader of South Sudan’s opposition National Democratic Movement (NDM), Lam Akol has vowed not participate in the forthcoming national dialogues conference, insisting he does not see any useful purpose for such an event.
- Lam Akol (Photo Reutrers)
Akol, in an October 7, 2020 letter addressed to the National Dialogue Steering Committee co-chairman, Angelo Beda said focus should instead be made on expediting the implementation of the relevant provisions of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.
The letter was a response to an invitation the committee’s co-chairman extended to Akol to participate in a dialogue conference.
“Specifically, our attention should be focused on the holding of the workshop for the Parties to agree on the details of conducting the Constitution-making process (Article 6.7 of R-ARCSS). This will be followed by the actual preparations and convening of the Constitutional Conference (Articles 6.8 – 6.16 of R-ARCSS),” said Akol.
He added, “This is the only inclusive political process the stakeholders have agreed on and nothing else should detract us from that course”.
According to the NDM leader, whereas the concept of national dialogue is one of the ways a country may choose to deal with the root causes of its problems, a “credible dialogue cannot take place while the war is raging as was the case in our country before 12 September 2018”.
“It can only be meaningful when the country is enjoying peace. That was the main reason why we distanced ourselves from it,” he noted.
Akol said the steering committee went ahead with meetings and conferences on the sub-national level and invited him to attend its final conference, presumably to discuss the outcome of the previous conferences of that one-sided government sponsored-exercise.
He stressed that for an end to all forms of violence in the country, the national dialogue should be placed within the framework of the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
In December 2016, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir launched the national dialogue initiative that seeks to reconcile and unite the East African nation torn apart by more than four years of civil war.