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Lam Akol decries policy of exclusion from South Sudan’s unity government

July 6, 2020 (JUBA) - Lam Akol National Democratic Movement (NDM) leader has decried on Monday a policy of exclusion from the national unity institutions against his party instigated by the SPLM-In-Government of President Salva Kiir.

Lam Akol (Photo Reutrers)The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) still did not nominate its candidate for the governor of Jonglei State as the alliance members, including NDM, continue to debate on who should be appointed.

Lam Akol who is also the SSOA Secretary-General proposed Mahjoub Biel Turuk for the position but very quickly the other groups found that the already Minister of Higher Education Denay Chagor can do the job. Both candidate are from Jonglei.

Asked about the dispute, Akol pointed an accusing finger to the SPLM-IG saying it is determined to keep his party out of the national unity transitional government against the inclusivity which is the hallmark of the peace agreement.

"I think you would have noticed by now that SSOA is no longer an independent Party to the peace agreement. Its leaders are in cahoots with SPLM-IG which is determined to exclude one or two organizations in SSOA from participating in the transitional government," he said

He recalled that the alliance upon the request of the IG asked President Salva Kiir to pick its nominee for vice-president, following what they sent a list of the nominees for three ministries and deputy minister without informing the other groups of the alliance.

Akol further said that the silence of the IGAD special envoy on all these violations of the peace agreement "emboldened the IG to continue using the group to achieve its own agenda".

Until now there are five groups that took a position for each of them within the framework of the power-sharing deal as provided in the revitalized peace agreement.

Akol told Sudan Tribune that his party backed by the SSLM proposed a candidate for Jonglei governor assuming that this position will go to one of the three groups that did not join the transitional government.

"Now, we are hearing that one of the Ministers representing SSOA is to be moved to Jonglei just to block the NDM candidates," he said.

"The idea is not theirs but they are told to own it!," the NDM leader further stressed alluding to the SPLM-IG.

He added they will not be surprised if things go that way.

"It is not just a trend but a policy of exclusion. In such circumstances to talk of a ’government of national unity’ is a bad joke."

Following the agreement between the President Kiir and First Vice President Machar on the redistribution of the allocation of the 10 states to the main groups of the national unity government the SSOA rejected the deal in a statement on 18 June.

The alliance was not satisfied with the allocation of the Upper Nile State to the SPLM-IO pointing they had not been involved in the meeting. The Upper Nile had been initially allocated to the SSOA.

(ST)