28th February 2021
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Supporters of SPLM-IO in Upper Nile reportedly reject state peace conference

Author: Elshiekh Chol Ajieng | Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

File: Participants at the opening session of the Greater Upper Nile Regional Dialogue Conference in Juba on Monday, May 20, 2019/Emmanuel Akile/Eye Radio.

The SPLM-IO says its supporters in Upper Nile have declined to participate in the forthcoming state peace conference.

“The components of the communities of the Upper Nile state in the SPLA/SPLM-IO issued a press release to decline to attend the conference,” the main peace partner confirmed.

Last month, the Presidency announced it would facilitate a peace and reconciliation forum of the communities in the state to iron out their differences.

The conference would be attended by 496 participants comprising of political and community leaders from Upper Nile State.

They are expected to be drawn from Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Juba, and Malakal IDP camp.

The communities in Upper Nile State, namely: the Chollo, Nuer, Dinka, Maban, and Koma — have lived peacefully for years until 2013, when civil war destroyed their social fabric and displaced thousands out of their homes.

The participants are expected to discuss cohesion among the five communities, and unity among the political leaders of the Upper Nile state.

President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar are expected to address the participants.

But according to the SPLM-IO Director for Information and Public Relations – Puok Bok – their supporters will not take part without the state government…

“They stated that they will wait for the appointment of their governor so that they can participate in the conference together,” he disclosed.

“[They want] the attendance of the governor so that they can hear the problem and the grievances so that they can addressee its once.”

Upper Nile State is yet to get a governor after SPLM-IO nominee – Johnson Olony – was rejected by President Salva Kiir last year, claiming he was outside the country.

Since then, the main peace parties have been engaged in a tug-o- war over General Olony.

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