8th December 2019
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Unassigned SPLM-IO delegates asked to leave hotels

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: 3 weeks ago

Dembesh Hotel in Juba, one of the hotels NPTC is accommodating peace delegates | Credit | Eye Radio

The SPLM-IO has instructed some of its members who are not part of the peace mechanisms to leave the hotels and report to the cantonment sites.

According to a letter seen by Eye Radio, the leader of the main opposition group identified more than 50 individuals who have been living in hotels in Juba, despite not working for the National Pre-Transitional Committee.

The Pre-interim committee takes care of delegates posted to various bodies that manage the security sector arrangements, and governance issues as stipulated by the revitalized peace deal.

There are hundreds of peace delegates representing the SPLM-IO, South Sudan Opposition Alliance, Former Detainees, and other Political Parties being accommodated by the government -through the NPTC.

This year, the peace delegates’ lifestyle at the hotels came under serious scrutiny from members of the public, international community and the civil society.

They accused the delegates of unnecessarily spending public funds on luxurious lifestyle, their bodyguards, family members and friends, at the expense of delivering services.

In a letter dated November 1 and signed by Dr. Riek Machar, those who have not been assigned to any peace implementation institution should vacate the hotels within this month.

It directed the 59 individuals to seek private accommodation or go to the Wun-Aliet or Lobojo cantonment sites.

The SPLA-IO’s acting military spokesperson, Col. Peter Lam Gabriel confirmed the directive this morning:

“Now the NPTC cannot take care of all the SPLA-IO members except those who are only deployed here and those who work under the NPTC – people who are here implementing the peace agreement especially those in the security arrangement mechanisms,” Col. Lam told Eye Radio.

In May, the Pre-Transitional Committee directed various hotel managements to stop offering rooms to the delegates of the various parties.

It said it would not be responsible for their accommodation.

But the body later revoked its decision saying it “encountered serious challenges in their decision to transit the delegates from the hotels to alternative accommodations.”

Most of the delegates have continued to live luxurious lives in the hotel, while soldiers at the cantonment sites continue to desert the camps due to lack of food, shelter, water and medical supplies.

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