Source: Radio Tamazuj
Representatives of the SPLM-IO faction boycotted a two-day SPLM meeting held late last week in South Africa as part of a tripartite committee tasked to follow up the implementation of the Arusha SPLM Reunification Agreement.
The SPLM factions agreed in February on a roadmap for implementing SPLM reunification including “preparatory measures” for the anticipated return of the SPLM-G10 leaders to South Sudan. Little progress has been made since then in implementing the deal, after talks at the separate IGAD-led peace process stalled in February and early March.
SPLM-IO deputy head of information and public relations Manawa Peter Gatkuoth told Radio Tamazuj in an interview that they did not participate in the recent meetings in South Africa aimed at reactivating the Arusha Agreement.
Manawa said his group was not consulted by Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party on the agenda of the meetings. CCM brokered the Arusha deal.
“The Tanzanian ruling party did consultations with the government before the meeting took place, but it didn’t approach us,” he said.
“We were supposed to be consulted by the Tanzanian ruling party so that we know the agenda of the meeting. So we had to talk with them on how our movement could participate in the meeting,” he explained.
For his part, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Michael Makuei Lueth confirmed to Radio Tamazuj that the ruling faction (SPLM-Juba) participated in the meeting in South Africa. He further said the meeting has already ended recently.
However, Makuei, who is also the government spokesman said he did not have more details about the final communiqué issued following the meetings.
Meanwhile, John Luk, spokesman of the SPLM-G10 also known as the ‘former detainees’ group told Radio Tamazuj that the meeting in South Africa ended after it lasted for two days.
The G10 are a group of senior SPLM leaders who were jailed and then released at the start of the South Sudan Civil War in December 2013 before leaving into exile in neighbouring countries.
Luk pointed out that the meeting was between his group and the government side. He added the meeting discussed what was agreed upon in Arusha, Tanzania.
“Our meeting was between our group and the SPLM in the government, so the meeting started on 7 May, and it lasted for two days.” The talks focused on what has been implemented so far and what has not, he said.