It will be attended by all Southern Sudanese forces and groupings including the SPLM, southern political parties in and outside the Sudan, militia organizations commonly known as Other Armed Groups (AOGs), members of the Southern Coordination Council, Southern Sudan Civil Society groups, senior citizens, Church Leaders, academics and others. The objective of the dialogue is to discuss and agree on various issues including among others; peace and reconciliation, forgiveness, good governance, and the principle of inclusiveness. Representatives of these groups will assemble in Nairobi next week to draw out an agenda for the conference under the auspices of MAI.
Meanwhile, the SPLM is concerned about the deterioration of security situation caused by Government of Sudan (GOS) allied militia particularly in Central and Eastern Upper Nile Region. While we are preparing for the South/South dialogue it is necessary that an enabling environment be created to enhance peace and reconciliation among our people. We wish to point out that the militia activities in South Sudan for the last three weeks do not contribute towards peace building. The unprovoked attacks on SPLM positions in the town of Akobo by renegade Commander Taban Juoc are direct violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Similarly, unwarranted militia attacks have been carried out on SPLA positions in Akoc (Twic County, Northern Bahr el Ghazal) and Akoka between Melut and Malakal in Upper Nile.
Given the fact that Taban Juoc is a Brigadier in the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), he should of necessity observe all provisions of the CPA. If Taban Juoc, however, continues to flagrantly violate the CPA, then the onus is on GOS to intervene and bring him to book. Failing that one may assume that the GOS condones the activities of this rogue warlord.
It is unfortunate that the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM) chose to side and support Taban Juoc and others who are bent on the perpetuation of war and destruction in our country. In SSLM press release of February 22nd 2005 signed by some commander Andrew Kuong, they attacked their colleagues who have opted to join the SPLM/SPLA and instead supported Taban Juoc?s attacks on Akobo. The SSLM in the same release claim to support the CPA but in the same breath acts contrary to the agreement. We hope that in the spirit of South-South Dialogue, SSLM and other groups will join the bandwagon for peace and prosperity.
Finally, the SPLM/SPLA would like to appeal to all Southern Sudanese to adopt the spirit of tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation. We also request the international community particularly those governments and institutions who witnessed by signing the CPA not to allow activities that are detrimental to the implementation of the CPA to take place within their borders.
Dr. Samson L. Kwaje, Commissioner for Information and Official Spokesman SPLM/SPLA