Addis Ababa, March 27, 2014 (SSNA) — South Sudanese rebels have submitted a protest letter to the head of the IGAD-led talks, rejecting the inclusion of Uganda as an observer in the talks, and threatened to boycott peace efforts if IGAD allows Kampala to be part of the ongoing peace talks in Ethiopia.
The rebels further assert that Kampala is playing double standards and therefore should not be trusted.
“The SPLM/A-[in Opposition] rejects in the strongest terms possible the participation of Uganda as an observer at the IGAD Peace Process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia”, Gai says in the statement.
“It is with deep regret that, SPLM/A-[in Opposition] shall not sit at the negotiation table where Uganda is an observer because Uganda can not be both the prosecutor and the judge at the same time”, he continues.
In a letter addressed to Chairperson of IGAD Special Envoys for South Sudan, Seyuom Mesfin, and signed by General Taban Deng Gai, the Head of the SPLM/SPLA-in Opposition Peace Negotiation Team, the rebels question the impartiality of the Uganda, saying Kampla should simply join Kiir’s negotiating team.
“The Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) is fighting alongside the government of South Sudan’s forces; and therefore it’s a party to the conflict which disqualifies them as a peace mediator. SPLM/A has no objection to the participation of Uganda alongside the Government of Salva Kirr’s delegation”, Gai added.
However, the rebels indicate that they still support a peaceful solution to the conflict and urge all parties to do the same.