Source: Radio Tamazuj
The delegation representing President Salva Kiir at the peace talks in Addis Ababa have withdrawn from the IGAD-facilitated talks, according to two other parties participating in the negotiations.
Lam Akol, head of the SPLM-DC party and the other political parties delegation at the talks, disclosed in an emailed statement said the government boycott began on Saturday, 16 August.
He said that in a meeting last Friday all negotiators agreed to form negotiating committees, except the government negotiators Nhial Deng and Michael Makuei.
Instead, Makuei and Nhial set new conditions on Friday for their participation in the talks, according to Lam Akol.
When the newly formed negotiating committees started meeting on Monday, the government did not send representatives to participate.
Lam Akol recounts:
“In the Economic Affairs Committee, James Aniceto stood up and asked the chair (from IGAD) whether the government delegation was coming. The chair answered that they have boycotted.”
SPLM-IO confirmed also the news of the boycott. Lul Ruai, military spokesman of the rebel group, said yesterday that the government negotiators had boycotted for two consecutive days, declining to participate in sessions on transitional security, financial resource management and transitional government arrangement.
Yohannes Musa, another spokesman of the group, confirmed the same a separate press release, except that he said the iniitial date of the government’s withdrawal was last Friday.
According to Lam Akol, Kiir’s negotiators have set two conditions for their return to the talks:
That a matrix agreement on implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement be signed first before any talks on other issues and;
That ‘Rules of Procedure’ be set effectively limiting the talks to bilateral talks between them and the SPLM-IO.
SPLM-IO are declining to sign any matrix on implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities pending withdrawal of Ugandan troops allied to Salva Kiir’s forces.
IGAD mediators and other delegations reportedly have opted to continue talks in the committees in spite of the boycott by the Kiir group.
Lam Akol describes a meeting of other negotiators: “After deliberation, the meeting resolved unanimously that the demands of the government delegation were unrealistic and that the peace talks should continue in the form of committees even if the government delegation chooses to stay away.”