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Dr. Lam stresses inclusivity in Kampala retreat

The leader of the National Democratic Movement for Change (NDM) party, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin/Courtesy Photo

By Philip Buda Ladu

The leader of the National Democratic Movement for Change (NDM) party, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin has called for inclusivity in the planned Kampala retreat in which President Salva Kiir and FVP Dr. Riek have been invited for talks.

Ugandan President Kaguta Museveni has invited President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice President (FVP) Dr. Riek Machar to Kampala for talks surrounding the stalled graduation of the unified forces and other pending tasks in the implementation of the agreement.

The meeting according to officials was planned for the month of February 2022 but no exact date has been stated.

Presidential Affairs Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin confirmed that the proposed meeting in February will discuss ways through which the delays over screening, graduation and redeployment of the unified forces meant to constitute a national army will be resolved.  

“His Excellency President Museveni sent invitation to President Salva Kiir Mayardit; the First Vice President has also received an invitation. The invitations are for a retreat which will be in Uganda. Arrangements are being made,” Dr. Marial the Presidential Affairs Minister has been quoted by media.

It is still unclear as to whether the other four Vice Presidents as signatories to the R-ARCSS have been extended the retreat invitation.

Uganda and Sudan are the Guarantors to the 2018 September Revitalized Peace Agreement and they are always seen as the countries with direct knowledge and close contact with South Sudanese rival leaders persuading them to push for the full implementation of the deal.

Reacting to the invitation for the retreat, Dr. Lam the NDM party Leader echoed concerns that all leaders of the five key parties’ signatories to the R-ARCSS should be invited all for the retreat in Kampala by the Ugandan President.     

“There are five political parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflicts in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) which include; the ITGoNU, SPLM-IO, SSOA, FDs and OPP. Those are the parties that signed the agreement and they are now engaged in its implementation,” the statement read in part.

Dr. Lam in his press statement issued and seen by this paper underscored those are the same parties that discussed and adopted the extension of the pre-transitional period in May and November 2019 arguing there is no way to exclude some out.

“If these reports are true, we would like to alert your Excellency that such a retreat must be inclusive of all parties to R-ARCSS so that, as previously all points of views are heard and taken into consideration,” urged Dr. Lam in his letter addressed to IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan.

The NDM opposition leader stressed that if there is any evaluation of the status of implementation of the R-ARCSS it must involve all of them, more so because the fingers on stalled implementation process point to the top rank of the government.

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