Wednesday, September 24, 2014

IGAD mediators ask Martin Tako to leave South Sudan peace talks

A deputy minister in Salva Kiir’s cabinet claiming to represent South Sudanese opposition parties has been asked to leave the peace talks in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Martin Tako arrived recently at the peace talks without having been invited by the peace mediators of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Tako said he was leading a delegation representing PPLF, the Political Parties Leadership Forum, which comprises mostly South Sudanese opposition parties.
Last week security agents blocked Lam Akol, who also claims leadership of the Political Parties Leadership Forum, from traveling to Ethiopia, while permitting Martin Tako to travel to the talks instead.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj today, IGAD Special Envoy Lazaro Sumbeiywo confirmed that they received two different lists of delegates claiming to represent the PPLF.
Sumbeiywo, a retired Kenyan general, said that the mediation have called on Martin Tako and his delegation to return to Juba to enter talks with the rest of the PPLF to choose a unified delegation, in a process to be overseen by the IGAD mediation.
Gabriel Roric, spokesman for Martin Tako’s delegation and leader of the National Congress Party in South Sudan, told Radio Tamazuj that they had a lengthy meeting with the IGAD mediation today to discuss their participation at the peace talks.
Roric said they were not going to return to Juba but they contacted the political parties to discuss what to do.
Meanwhile, peace negotiations have proceeded in Bahir Dar without the involvement of PPLF representatives.