IGAD partners advise SPLM-IO against boycott of peace deal events

The IGAD Partners Forum has advised against continuous bickering among members of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity.

The Forum said it is concerned by incidents of parties boycotting constitutional processes when opposed to actions related to the 2018 peace implementation.

It singled out the recent boycott of the parliamentary session by the SPLM-IO during the passing of the Political Parties Amendment Bill 2022.

In June, Dr Riek Machar’s party claimed the bill was passed despite their reservations. SPLM-IO said it had raised concerns over the modalities of financing the political parties and the conditions for a party to be legally registered.

President Salva Kiir later said the matter would be resolved in the Presidency.

Early this month, the SPLM-IO said it will likely boycott any elections in South Sudan citing lack of political and civic space.

The IGAD Partners Forum, however, said such actions and utterances discourages efforts to implement the agreement.

“The continuing boycott by the SPLM-IO of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly over the passage of the political parties act is not helpful at all,” said Jelte Van Wieren, outgoing Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherland.

He spoke on behalf of the Partners Forum during the 23rd monthly meeting of the R-JMEC in Juba on Thursday.

“What makes it worse is that, instead of joining forces to discuss and solve the problem, the RTNLA has continued approving bills without opposition. This may be legally possible but it surely goes against the spirit of cooperation among the parties as stipulated in the revitalized peace agreement,” he added.

Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro, Minister of Cabinet Affairs said the boycott of the parliamentary session by the SPLM-IO was uncalled for.

“The other parties have said there is no provision in the agreement or anywhere else even within the procedures of NCAC which says if the NCAC has agreed to any matter in term of drafting and reviewing of laws, then no one else, no other authorities in the cabinet or the assembly has the authority to amend. I believe the political parties are big enough to discuss it and this should not a matter to alarm our partners,” he clarified.