October 2, 2017 (KAMPALA) – 14 South Sudanese exile civil society groups in Uganda have protested petitioned the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) special envoy to South Sudan, demanding that separate consultations be held during the forthcoming peace revitalization forum from 13-17 October.

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South Sudanese people take to the streets as part of a peace march organised by civil society groups in the capital, Juba, on 8 January 2014 (Photo AP/Ali Ngethi)

“We undersigned this letter as South Sudanese civil society organizations based in Kampala, Uganda to welcome the IGAD initiative to conduct massive and inclusive consultation for all warring parties both in government and outside the government to set a comprehensive agenda for the revitalization of the peace agreement and ensure sustainable peace happen in South Sudan,” partly reads the petition letter extended to Sudan Tribune.

The group of activists, mainly living in Uganda, questioned why the IGAD timetable excluded them from the consultation process and only catered for civil societies living within South Sudan, political leaders, the youth, women and religious leaders based in Juba.

“It not the first time to be excluded from the discussion but it start rights from ‘IGAD High-Level Independent Experts Meeting on the Revitalization of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan’ that brought together 22 South Sudan experts from academia, civil society and renowned South Sudanese practitioners, held in Bishofu, Ethiopia from 16th – 17th, August, 2017 attended by JMEC Chairperson, IGAD Executive Secretary, IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan and representative from AUC, UN and EU,” the statement explains.

We request the office of IGAD special envoy to South Sudan this time to consider consulting civil society organizations, women, youth and religious leaders in Kampala.

“Therefore we humbly ask the IGAD to schedule the visit to Kampala, Uganda as part of the ongoing consultationfor the revitalization of the peace agreement. As diaspora based organizations we feel like the consultation processis important to inform the IGAD revitalization forum on peace agreement”.

The groups said IGAD should not ignore them for being in the diaspora, provided they are well informed about the ongoing conflict or violence in the young nation.

“We also want to bring to your attention that there are also South Sudanese civil society organizations inSPLM/SPLA (IO) held areas as well as in diaspora which not limited to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan which wealso request your esteem office to consider for consultation,” the petition reads.

The 14 Kampala-based organizations include, African Youth Action Network (AYAN), Centre for Media Advocacy (CeMA), Democracy Initiative (DI), Global Actions for Humanity (GOA-H), Cush Organization for Development and Advocacy (CODA), International Youth for Africa (IYA), Jonglei Development Agency (JoDA), South Sudan Christian Community Agency (SSCCA), South Sudan Christian International Funds for Refugee (SSCIFR), Young Adult Empowerment Initiative (YEI),Global Society Initiative for Peace & Democracy (GLOSIPAD), Nuer Women for Peace and Development (NWPD) and Nile Centre for Human Rights (NCHR).

South Sudan government earlier warned that the revitalization forum by the regional bloc, which mediated the 2015 peace accord, should not be another platform for negotiation of the peace agreement between the two factions to the conflict.

Over a million people have fled South Sudan since conflict erupted in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir sacked Machar from the vice-presidency. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million displaced in South Sudan’s worst ever violence since it seceded from Sudan in 2011

Source: sudantribune

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