Riek Machar: National Dialogue Should Pave Way for Negotiations

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***South Sudanese lawmaker forms rebel movement

The co-chair of the country’s national dialogue, Abel Alier, said weekend, he sent a written request to the South Sudanese rebel leader for further consultations on the national dialogue initiative launched last month.
Alier said he wanted Machar’s views on the national dialogue.
This is coming as a South Sudanese lawmaker who resigned his parliamentary role last week in protest over insecurity has formed a new rebel movement, underscoring the new security challenges likely to be faced by the government as it addresses the problem.
Abraham Majak Maliab, who resigned on 20 June, cited insecurity on highways connecting the capital, Juba to Bahr el Ghazal region.
The former lawmaker said he was no longer a member of the armed opposition faction loyal to the South Sudanese First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai.
Machar said Saturday that he confirmed his willingness to take place in the national dialogue, but on condition that such an initiative will help find tangible solutions to the country’s ongoing conflict.

Machar

“As much as we believe the national dialogue is an important process for the people of South Sudan to engage in, however, it is our considered opinion that the priority is to end the raging genocidal war in the country that has created and displaced over two million people internally and 2.5 million people as refugees in the neighboring countries”, wrote Machar.
The rebel leader, currently living in South Africa, said a viable solution to the conflict needed peaceful mediation for an inclusive and a prosperous dialogue.
“As such, our efforts are focused on searching for a sustainable peace through a mediated peace process to end the war rather national dialogue,” he further wrote.
President Salva Kiir officially launched the long-awaited national dialogue initiative in the capital, Juba last month.
Initiated in December last year, the national dialogue initiative is both a forum and process through which the people South Sudan shall gather to redefine the basis of their unity as it relates to nationhood, redefine citizenship and belonging, as well as restructure the state for national inclusion.
Since mid-December 2013, tens of thousands of people have been killed and over two million displaced from the East African nation.
Meanwhile, Majak, in a statement, also announced the formation of the Popular Front for Democratic Reform and Pan-African National Guard.
The ex-MP paid tribute and saluted the “brave” men and women who stood up against injustices in Western Lakes states under Major General Anyar Anyar Agoth Deng, Lt. Colonel Gum Madol Panyar, Lt. Colonel John Ariinga Malith, Lt. Colonel Abinko Matur Deng, Major Joseph Maper Athuei and Capt. Chok Marol Mabor, among others as founding members of the rebel movement.
He said injustice and inequality had been built in the system and continue to affect people regardless of tribe, clan, region, old, young, women, men, the disabled, intellectuals as well as illiterates.
“This old system is affecting us all. So, I call for a united front from all opposition parties and the civil society to unite and fight against the Goliath”, partly reads the statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
Majak also advocated for what he described as the total destruction of the old system, “corrupt”, “oppressive” and the “incompetent” regime of President Salva Kiir and establish a new free and united society with a democratic system of governance in South Sudan.

South Sudanese MPs stand during a parliamentary session in Juba on August 31, 2011 where the ruling party used its huge majority to approve a new cabinet over opposition objections that the number of ministers was beyond the means of the world’s newest nation. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

The formation of the new rebel movement comes barely a week after a newly-formed political entity elected the former governor of South Sudan’s Warrap state, Lewis Anei Kuendit as its chairperson.
Kuendit, who spoke to reporters soon after his election, described South Sudan ruling party (SPLM) as a “failed” and “deformed” party.
Describing the new party as “a result of the ongoing political situation” of war in South Sudan and propagated its objectives on nonviolent, inclusivity and fighting corruption, Kuendit said the new political party met the registration requirements set forth by South Sudan’s’ Political Parties Council, which included the signatures of at least 4,000 supporters from eight states.
(ST)

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