The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) of the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has urged leaders in South Sudan to continue pursuing peace through dialogue and seek a durable political solution for the people of the country.
The resolution was reached by speakers from the eight member states of IGAD – Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and South Sudan – at the end of the 9th Executive council and the 8th Conference of Speakers of IPU-IGAD.
The two-day conference was chaired by the Speaker of the Ugandan parliament and Vice President of the Executive Council Rebecca Kadaga at Century Hotel in Kamuli.
The speakers however earlier clashed over the recognition of Taban Deng as South Sudan vice president and the possible return of Riek Machar to Juba.
Speaker of the South Sudan Transitional National Legislative Assembly Anthony Lino Makana attempted to reject one of the resolutions because it had not specifically recognized General Taban Deng as a legitimate vice president replacing Machar.
“I want resolution 4 to be amended to include Deng as the vice president because he was nominated by Riek Machar’s party SPLMO/LO to replace him. Machar wanted to capture by power by force and after fled to Congo where he was airlifted to Khartoum leaving behind his cabinet without any choice but to replace him for the interest of peace and stability in the country,” said Makana.
Makana further added that it should be sated categorically in the resolution that Machar shall not step foot in South Sudan before elections because his return will provoke violence .
His objections were rejected by Kadaga who argued that for the IGAD meeting to pronounce itself on who is legitimate, it would be overstepping its mandate. She said that recognition and legitimacy is an internal matter and that IPU-IGAD is more interested in peace and security in the country.
Kadaga was supported by the Bukedea Mp Anita Among who reasoned that the role of the meeting is to preach peace and unity and that pronouncing themselves on the matter will divide South Sudan.
A joint communique read by the Secretary-General of the IPU-IGAD Mohamed Adam Mohamed Ismail stated that there must be a durable political solution in South Sudan whereby the people elect their leaders and parliamentary representatives through a free and credible general election as soon as posible.
The conference condemned any interference or action that is inimical to instituting peace in South Sudan. They appealed to all peace loving stakeholders as well as IGAD to continue playing constructive roles in sustaining peace and security in the country by ensuring that above all the transitional government harmony enables the implementation of the peace agreement.
“We appeal to the Troika, China, Russia, South Africa, Japan, and India, European Union, the Arab League and IGAD states to continue playing an active role in sustaining peace in South Sudan.” Said Mohamed.
“We note with serious concern that there appears to be an orchestrated attempt to generate instability in the region; and hence call upon all member parliaments to heighten their fight against all forces of instability, terrorism, human trafficking illegal migration and cross border criminal activities,” said Mohamed.
The conference that focused on regional peace and security, good governance and development especially in Somalia and South Sudan, encouraged Somalia and Kenya to have peaceful upcoming general elections and urged all parties concerned to ensure a peaceful, fair and democratic election.
South Sudan’s speaker Makana who told the conference they have already embarked on implementing all reforms stipulated by the agreement.
“Significantly, steps have been taken in reforming security, economic, civil service, judiciary and the electoral system. These reforms are part of the implementation of the agreement and are intended to consolidate good governance, stimulate economic development, national healing and reconciliation,” he said.