South Sudan

Garang Blasts Machar Associates, Hails SPLM Reunification

South Sudan ex political detainees being welcomed to Juba last week

Northern Corridor member states have formed an authority to expedite implementation of infrastructure projects for the benefit of the people of the region.

The new body – the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority – will coordinate and follow-up implementation of projects in order of priority as agreed on by the member states.

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta, case Paul Kagame and host Yoweri Museveni resolved to establish the new Authority during the 10th Northern Corridor Integration Projects Summit in Kampala, Uganda.

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President Kenyatta expressed optimism that the new Authority will organize the implementation of the various outstanding projects.

“We have really made good progress. On the areas that we have not, I think with this new arrangement we should now be able to fast-track them,” President Kenyatta said.

He welcomed the private sector in implementation of the Northern Corridor projects, saying they have a great role to play in the initiative.

“I encourage our other partners to come on board so that we can increase the numbers and really push this integration agenda forward,” President Kenyatta said.

The leaders agreed that each of the Northern Corridor member states should appoint a person to work full-time in monitoring the status of implementation of projects.

President Museveni observed that some of the Northern Corridor projects were not moving as fast as targeted because some of the implementing persons were working “part-time”.

“The three of us have agreed that each country should appoint a senior person whose job will only be to follow up this integration process,” President Museveni said, noting that Kenya has already appointed former Cabinet Minister Joseph Nyaga.

President Museveni added: “We will also have a discussion with President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and President Pierre Nkurunziza on the same issue.”

The leaders also agreed to cluster projects where each country will be assigned specific tasks to undertake.

And in a communique issued at the end of the summit, the Heads of State affirmed their resolved to continue working together to deepen integration through fast-tracking implementation of projects.

They appreciated the commitment expressed by the private sector to partner with Governments of the Northern Corridor member states in the realization of the vision of transforming the regional economy through the Public Private Sector Partnership in the delivery of flagship projects.

The Summit welcomed the signing of the Agreement on Total Liberalization of Free Movement of Labour, Agreement on Total Liberalization of Free Movement of Services, Memorandum of Understanding with EPC for the Western and Southern routes of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Memorandum of Understanding on Foreign Policy Coordination as well as Memorandum of Understanding on Cyber Security.

The Summit also launched the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) Web Portal that will facilitate communication and dissemination of information on the projects.

The Heads of State also considered and endorsed recommendations contained in the Ministerial report on NCIP.

President Kiir was represented by at the Summit by Defence and Veterans Affairs Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk while President Nkurunziza was represented by External Relations and International Cooperation Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe.

Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, East African Community Secretary General Richard Sezibera and Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) Executive Secretary Donat Bagula attended as observers.
Mabior Garang, buy more about the son of South Sudan founding father, John Garang, has hailed the reunification of the country’s ruling party, SPLM, saying it is a step forward towards returning stability to the world’s youngest but war-torn nation.

“The unity of the SPLM is a baby step in the right direction,” said Mabior after former political detainees returned to Juba as part of the process of bringing back together warring SPLM factions.

“I salute the courage of our Comrades in Juba,” he added, in reference to President Salva Kiir’s government decision to allow former party leaders to take back their positions with the view of healing the nation’s wounds.

Former senior political detainees who were released through President Kenyatta’s intervention during the early days of the conflict in South Sudan are expected to play a bigger role in reconciling the warring factions.

They are; Pagan Amum, Deng Alor, Kosti Manibe, Cirino Hiteng, Chol Tong, Rebecca Garang, John Luk, Oyai Deng, Madut Biar and Majak Agot.

Mabior, who was until recently a strong ally of rebel leader Dr Riek Machar, warned that some elements in opposition are hell-bent on frustrating efforts aimed at ending the turmoil in South Sudan.

“I think the opposition forces in the country should be cautiously optimistic and vigilant instead of being suspicious. It will not help anyone to be pessimistic and generally negative and though Dr. Lam Akol is correct in suggesting that the SPLM can’t bring peace alone, the unity of the SPLM is a baby step in the right direction,” said Mabior.

“Let the warmongers on both sides, the enemies of peace on both sides be exposed. There are those around Comrade Salva and around Comrade Dr. Riek Machar (civilians not soldiers) whose dissatisfaction is which personalities will loot the country and don’t really care about the fundamental change our masses have aspired for since 1947,” he further cautioned.

Mabior did not mention names in his latest attack on the rebels’ leadership.

He, however, said, “This is not to say that we sweep the crimes (no matter who committed them) under the rug but peace must necessarily come before justice and accountability and must be committed to in a comprehensive agreement involving all stakeholders in the country.”

Mabior said “this attitude by the government is so far the closest we have been to a solution and if genuine could be a turning point in the conflict.”

President Kiir last week rescinded the suspension of Machar, allowing him and others to resume their duties as senior officials in the SPLM.


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