By Radio Tamazuj
Agenda for the meeting between the SPLM-IO delegation and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala last week on Tuesday has been revealed.
Hinary Odwar, deputy chairman of the opposition group led by Riek Machar, told Radio Tamazuj today that their meeting with President Museveni for two hours focused on the South Sudanese peace process in Addis Ababa.
“The issues that we discussed are basically related to the ongoing peace process though the High Level Revitalization Forum, and as you are aware we hit a snag in February because of contentious issues,” he said.
“We discussed the challenges facing us, especially the cessation of hostilities agreement violations. We informed President Museveni that the government continues to be on the offensive and civilians are suffering despite the cessation of hostilities agreement,”
The top opposition official said their meeting with Museveni touched on the issue of political prisoners. “We also touched on the issue of the prisoners of war and abductees as stipulated in the agreement. The government has not released even a singled prisoner of war and they killed all the soldiers they have captured,” he said.
“We have people who have been abducted like James Gatdet. He has been sentenced to death in Juba. We also have Aggrey, Dong Samuel and Michael Lokidor,” he explained.
Odwar further said they have agreed with Museveni that the security arrangement is very important in the peace agreement to ensure free and fair elections in South Sudan.
“The people of South Sudan can choose their leaders if there are going to be free and fair elections. We said if there are no proper security arrangements, we will not have elections,” he said.
“We agreed that South Sudan should have a new army in which the faces of all ethnicities in South Sudan can be seen, so Museveni is on board with us on this,” he added.
The SPLM-IO deputy chairman said that they discussed the importance of a lean government in South Sudan due to the current economic crisis.
Odwar pointed out that the Ugandan leader said the South Sudanese peace process will not progress if rebel leader Riek Machar is not released from his forced detention in South Africa.
“President Museveni is in agreement with us, and he said they are working on ways how Riek should come out,” he said.