UK Government To Finance South Sudan “National Dialogue” But With Strings Attached
Jan 13, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— UK ambassador to South Sudan, Amb. Tim Morris, who is currently in Juba, says his government will fund South Sudan “National Dialogue”.
Retreating from earlier reports, which claimed that UK and Norway are initiating a political process to end South Sudan conflict, the ambassador who spoke to media on Thursday in Juba, said his government is willing to fund a national dialogue but such project must include “accountability”.
“We are disposed to help, but we will need a demonstrated project and we also need, of course, full accountability,” Amb. Morris said in an interview on Thursday.
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According to reliable sources, Ambassador Tim was summoned on Wednesday by South Sudan authorities in Juba who threatened that UK and Norway are spoiling peace implementation and thus his country must choose between supporting peace or supporting war.
Juba demands that Amb. Tim and his Norwegian counterpart must deny a report that was released by Kenyan media three days ago and should support peace implementation through national dialogue.
Speaking yesterday, Tim narrowed the quest for accountability to financial accountability without mentioning accountability for war crimes and atrocities that were committed with the last three years.
He also reiterates that a national dialogue should be done in the country, not in Qatar or another country as it was alleged by a reported which was published by the Eastern Africa.
“In other words we need to know where the money is going. But I think it is very important and this is government’s view and my personal view that all the branding of this exercise is and must be South Sudanese.” Amb. Tim said.
Speaking to press, UK Diplomat said that the UK and other members of the international community will fund the “national dialogue”.
Tim’s speech contradicts some of the fundamental values UK and TROIKA partners stood for throughout the conflict in the last three years.
While TROIKA have been funding an inclusive political process that has now collapsed and the humanitarian assistance through UNMISS and USAID, Amb. Tim believes that a national dialogue could resolve the current conflict.
Through the help of JMEC and other institution, President Kiir launched a National Dialogue last December, 2016.
A week later, he issued a republican decree for the formation of the steering committee composed of retired politicians, religious leaders, and technocrats, who are all believed to be supporters of his government.
Among the controversies, the National Dialogue would be led by President Salva Kiir himself and advised by retired seniors such as Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu. Retired Bishop Paride Taban will co-chair the initiative.
While referring to past dialogues that were organized by South Sudanese, Tim said the national dialogue should not be separate from the peace agreement.
“South Sudan knows how to do this, but I think it is very important not to separate National Dialogue from the peace agreement,” he added.