By Cyprian Musoke
A Uganda Government peace support team led by the Senior Presidential Advisor on Security and Defence, Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh, has been meeting the SPLM opposition group to fast-track the peace process so that South Sudan can return to peace.
Gen Salim Saleh
According to a statement from the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala yesterday, the meeting took place from Monday August 18 to yesterday (August 21). The talks were opened on Monday by state minister for defence Gen. Jeje Odong.
The talks, the statement added, were not a parallel process but complementary to the ongoing IGAD peace process in Addis Ababa. According to the statement, the two delegations discussed the security situation in South Sudan and how it can be resolved through peaceful means.
The two sides agreed that the current undesirable security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan, pursuant to the ongoing IGADmediated peace process will not come from the military option but through a political settlement.
Another statement signed by Mabior Garang de Mabior, as chairman of the SPLM national committee for information and public relations on behalf of the nine man-delegation led by Lt. Gen. Alfred Lado Gore, said the group requested to visit Uganda and other IGAD member states.
Salva Kiir the leader of SPLM/SPLA.
“The SPLM/SPLA is encouraged by this meeting and looks forward to continued dialogue with the Government of Uganda to find a lasting peace for the people of the Republic of South Sudan.
The SPLM/SPLA recognises the influence Uganda has on the government of Southern Sudan and we believe it can play a positive role in influencing that government to commit to the ongoing peace process in Addis Ababa.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) which pays allegiance to former Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar is fighting the incumbent Juba government led by Salva Kiir.