South Sudan National Dialogue needs a “neutral Leader”: AU Envoy
08, March 2017 (Nyamilepedia)– The African Union High Representative for South Sudan, Alpha Oumar Konare, has called for South Sudan’s proposed National Dialogue to be led by a “Neutral Leader” and all armed opposition groups should be part of the process.
In what could be a new dramatic development by the continent’s body since war engulfed the whole of South Sudan again in July 2016 after break down of IGAD mediated peace process leading to serious Human Right violations and warnings of Genocide by the UN Human rights commission.
Alpha Oumar Konare, who is the AU chief Envoy on South Sudan, and the former President of Mali, said the National Dialogue called for by President Salva Kiir will need to be led by a neutral leader so that it can achieve its objectives of restoring peace and stability back to South Sudan.
“The National Dialogue should be led by independent personalities accepted by the people. Both the government and the opposition are parties to the crisis in the country,” said Alpha Oumar Konare.
Konare said President Salva Kiir was part of the conflict in South Sudan and therefore not right to lead the National Dialogue and should therefore allow a neutral candidate to lead the process.
It is seen as the first time for a senior political leader from the African Union to make such a n open statement on South Sudan crisis.
This could be seen as a relieve and welcoming statement by many South Sudanese who are suffering the brunt of the current civil war and have been hoping for the African Union to step in.
Alpha Oumar Konare called on South Sudanese leaders to immediately ceasefire and stop any further war propaganda in order to create suitable environment for peace and proposed dialogue.
Speaking during a visit to Yei town of Central Equatoria, the African Union Envoy also called for the main armed opposition to be included in any national dialogue in order to achieve meaning results, saying a National Dialogue would not be meaningful and not achieve required results without including all South Sudanese actors especially the major armed opposition groups and its leaders.
“And also we cannot go into a meaningful national dialogue without including Dr. Riak Machar in the peace process. This carries no sense without the participation of Riak Machar, and in this case, we need the participation of all leaders to the crisis in the country,” Konare told listeners
The African Union official urged South Sudan leaders people all alike to make tough decisions and take opportunity of National Dialogue to end the current conflict in their country.
“I know it is hard to forget what happened, but please open your hearts, forget the past, forgive and open a new page for the sake of peace and stability in your country,” Konare concluded