Membe, Kinana on special mission over South Sudan
Sudan and Kenya have endorsed Tanzania’s efforts to reunite factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), whose antagonism is central to the civil war in South Sudan.
Presidents Omar Al-Bashir and Uhuru Kenyatta said separatey during meetings with Special envoys of President Kikwete-- the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Bernard Membe, and CCM Secretary General Abdulrahman Kinana, that the CCM-brokered mediation in Arusha had great potential to resolve the South Sudan crisis.
“It will be a difficult process, but if Arusha does not succeed there may be no peace in South Sudan,” declared President Al-Bashir, when the Special envoys called on him at the State House in Khartoum on Tuesday evening.
But the two leaders emphasized that the Arusha dialogue should be complementary to the South Sudan peace talks being conducted by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD).
Hon. Membe and the CCM Secretary General are on a mission to reassure IGAD leaders that the Arusha initiative, which was requested by South Sudan President Salva Kiir last September, is not in conflict with the separate peace negotiations in Addis Ababa spearheaded by the regional grouping.
Mr. Kinana reassured the Sudan and Kenya leaders that the Arusha mediation conducted October 12-20 and set to resume next week, was not competing against the IGAD process.
Hon. Membe told reporters in Khartoum that while the peace talks under IGAD conducted at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa involved 10 parties to the conflict in South Sudan, Arusha was focused on the SPLM factions led by President Kiir, his fired deputy Riek Machar and Ex-detainees. The bloody conflict has seen thousands of people killed and hundreds others displaced.
During the meeting with President Kenyatta at the State House in Nairobi yesterday, the Kenyan leader told the Special Envoys that the warring parties in South Sudan must not take advantage of the new initiative in Arusha to ignore the decisions reached at IGAD.
One of the decisions is that the killing of civilians should stop immediately. “They must not hide under the Arusha dialogue and continue the killings,” President Kenyatta warned.
The two leaders agreed that CCM could use its experience spanning over 50 years to reconcile the warring factions in SPLM, seen as the core of the conflict in Juba. Tanzania hosted the liberation movements of Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The Special Envoys yesterday held talks with South Sudan President Kiir in Juba. The President reaffirmed his commitment to the dialogue in Arusha and assured CCM and the Tanzania government that he will respect and fully implement the decisions to be taken.
The Special Envoys are scheduled to wind up their mission today after consulting Uganda President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe.