Kiir praised for leaving National Dialogue

Civil Society Organizations have welcomed the decision by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to step aside leaving the two co-chairs to lead the process of the National Dialogue.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, the Executive Director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG), Jame David Kolok said he had received the information as breaking news of positive magnitude to the process of the National Dialogue process.

As the Voluntary Taskforce, we had consultations both in Juba and at the states. If this is coming out sincerely as the president stated, then we civil society organizations, we welcome it,” he added.

He said for the people to believe what one of the Co-chairs of the National Dialogue, Angelo Beda said, the presidency should come out publicly and announce that he has stepped aside from the position of a patron of the National Dialogue.

“We are urging the Spokesperson of the President to come out with a public statement and make it very clear that the President has stepped down from being the patron of the National Dialogue,” Kolok said. “This will make it stronger and it will send a very good message to the world,” he added.

On his part, the Bishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, Diocese of Rejaf Enock Tombe said the departure of the President from the position of patron of the National Dialogue has been the demand of the people.

“Most people will welcome the move by the President because this has been the demand of many people that President Kiir should not be the patron. I believe the Steering Committee of the National Dialogue should remain independent and neutral,” he said.

He said it would have been better if President Kiir did not appoint representatives of other political parties to the Steering Committee of the National Dialogue.

“You know he could have done better if he had not gone ahead to appoint representatives of other parties. He could have left it to the parties to appoint their delegates,” Bishop Tombe said.

However the Executive Director of FODAG, Jame David Kolok urged the Steering Committee of the National Dialogue to approach President Kiir to reverse his decision to dissociate Dr. Riek Machar Teny from the process of National Dialogue.

“The statement that was made by the President in which he asked Dr. Riek Machar to remain outside this process should be reversed. The Committee should do that as their first assignment to go and explain to the President that exclusion of Dr. Riek Machar is not a solution to the National Dialogue process,” Kolok said.

He said the true independence of the Steering Committee of the National Dialogue would only be measured by approaching President Kiir to reverse his decision to exclude Dr. Riek Machar from participating in the National Dialogue launched on the 22nd May, 2017.

By Sworo Charles Elisha

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