We were never consulted- SPLM-IO scoffs at electoral roadmap report

We were never consulted- SPLM-IO scoffs at electoral roadmap report
Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak hands over a document detailing the proposal on peace deal roadmap to President Salva Kiir on July 16, 2022. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition SPLM-IO, has distanced itself from the recently developed electoral roadmap that is due to be tabled before the presidency this week

The roadmap is supposed to define a clear path to the implementation of the outstanding tasks in the revitalised peace agreement. 

But SPLM-IO, the main opposition party to the revitalised peace agreement, said it was not party to the process of making the roadmap, hence the document remains an edifice of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Government (SPLM-IG).

“We as SPLM-IO hear about the so-called roadmap presented to President Salva Kiir on the news. We did not take part in it and we are not aware of the content of the document which is being called roadmap [because] we believe [that] it is the SPLM-IG roadmap,” Puok Both Baluang, the Acting Press Secretary in the Office of Dr, Machar told The City Review on Sunday.

Baluang said the SPLM-IO would react in detail after seeing the document.  

“If it is the roadmap of the SPLM-IG to facilitate the implementation of the remaining chapters of the agreement, [then] we want to look at the content first then we have a reaction to it,” he said. 

According to Dr Machar’s press secretary, the opposition said the peace agreement was comprehensive, providing solutions to the implementation of the pending key critical peace provisions as well as addressing the root causes of conflict in South Sudan. This is what the document should capture in entirety.

According to Baluang, the Dr Machar-led outfit will only support the roadmap if it will address the pending issues in the agreement that would restore peace in the country.  

“We [want to] believe [that] it is a transformative document that can transform the nature and structure of this state and it is also the remedy of all the problems this country is facing and also addressing the road causes of the conflict,”

On Friday last week, the committee tasked with drawing up a roadmap briefed President Salva Kiir who later order the report be presented to Presidency this week.

Key members of the body included Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak Manime, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomoro, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mayiik Ayii Deng, and Michael Makuei, Minister of Information, Communication and Postal Services.

Dr Akol’s criticism   

Though it remained unclear whether representatives of other parties like the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), Other Political Parties (OPP), and Former Detainees (FDs) were also sidelined, the National Democratic Movement of Dr Lam AKol has voiced concerns over it. 

In a press release on Saturday, Dr Lam argued that the four-man member committee that presented the proposed roadmap to President Kiir lacked proper representation from all the parties.

According to NDM, the plan to table the proposal before the presidency would be discriminative because some parties like OPP have no voice in the presidency. In addition, it argues that the process of coming up with the proposal overlooked the crucial need to involve other peace guarantors and monitors such as Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC).

“The right procedure should have been for SPLM-IG to present its proposed roadmap to the parties either directly or through RJMEC to be discussed together with other proposals from the other parties in order to agree on a common position,’’ NDM partly read noted in its press release.