Juba, February 12, 2017 (SSNA) — The Youth League of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition has accused the Chairman of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) former Botswana President Festus Gontebanye Mogae of conspiring with South Sudanese government, saying recent actions of the JMEC head show he can no longer perform his job as a trusted peace mediator.
In a strongly worded statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency, Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Ruot, the SPLM-IO National Youth League Spokesman, described Mogae’s actions as “meaningless and unacceptable”, adding the armed opposition youth league lost confidence in his leadership judgment.
“We, the SPLM-IO Youth League, has lost confidence in the ability of the former President of Botswana H.E. Festus Mogae the current Chairman of Joint Monitoring and evaluation commission (JMEC),” the SPLM-IO Youth League said.
The rebel youth arm accuses Mogae of acting as a campaign manager of President Kiir, saying the former Botswana President’s actions he disrespects the civilian population being killed by Juba’s regime.
“President Festus seems to have a personal interest and this has been manifested in his agenda to be a praise singer and a campaign manager to President Salva Kiir. His disdain and disrespect for our civil populations who are being murdered and displaced from their homes in his watch is unacceptable and also an insult to the widows and orphans living in United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS),” the statement reads in part, adding “The present of President Mogae in Juba as a watch Dog to the ACRISS is meaningless and unacceptable; his inability to accept the truth about the abrogation of peace by Salva Kiir and Taban Deng Gai has displayed his clear egos to be benefiting from the suffering of South Sudanese. Moreover, his failure to halt the draconian system from raping women and teenagers in Juba Checkpoints are enough evidence for him to collect his belongings and leave South Sudan for Botswana.”
“For these reasons, we SPLM IO Youth League feels that H.E Festus Mogae should voluntary and peacefully submit his resignation letter to the International bodies, UN, IGADs and AU leaders Because He is either unable or unwilling to carry out his sworn duties and should step down as soon as possible.”
The SPLM-IO Youth League also stated that Mogae’s inability to perform his duties show he is siding with Kiir’s government and that the armed opposition has been monitoring his recent activities, adding Mogae has been giving deaf ears to the suffering South Sudanese.
The rebel youth group went further, asserting that the reason why Kiir’s government insists on killing and kidnapping people is because JMEC chairperson refuses to accept the fact that the August 2015 compromise peace agreement has already collapsed since July last year. Rebels also stated in the statement that Mogae’s action over peace implementation is “unprecedented, disrespectful, and outrageous.”
This is not the first time JMEC Chairman has been accused of a wrongdoing.
In January, a South Sudanese opposition leader Dr. Hakim Dario harshly criticized Mogae over what he described as “lack of the implementation of the peace deal.” Dario urged Mogae to quit and called for the African Union takeover of South Sudan peace process, adding that the AU must act to prevent what he called “emerging ethnic conflicts.”
It has emerged, however, that the JMEC chairman recently provided statements to the Paris-based AFP news agency, which seemingly provoke rebels to call for his resignation. Magoae was reportedly talking in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, about militia groups in South Sudan.
“Some are opportunists, others are downright criminals, because of the shortage of food. There are allegations that some groups are targeting Dinkas,” Mogae was quoted by the AFP as saying.
Some rebel supporters have recently been critical of Mogae on social media, with some calling the JMEC Chairman “Salva Kiir’s Spokesman.”