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Thursday, Aug 21st, 2014

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SPLM-in Opposition wants to participate in the IGAD-led South Sudan summit, protests against lack of inclusion

Addis Ababa, August 14, 2014 (SSNA) -- The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will hold a summit on South Sudan later this week in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The meeting is expected to discuss challenges surrounding the ongoing peace talks.

All IGAD member States are anticipated to attend the conference on Sunday.

However, South Sudanese rebels are not happy about the arrangement and launched a protest against what they described as 'lack of inclusion', warning that such a practice could cause or bring an unwanted attention into a much-needed peace.

James Gatdet Dak, the Spokesperson for the Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in opposition, released a statement saying that the SPLM-in opposition is concerned about what appears to be an omission plan, adding that they [Members of the SPLM-O] want to participate in the upcoming forum so that they can tell their side of the story.

“The leadership of SPLM/SPLA [in opposition] reiterates the need to participate in IGAD Summits which discuss the situation in South Sudan. It is unfortunate that IGAD passes resolutions in favour of one party because SPLM/SPLA is not provided with an opportunity to tell our side of the story”, Mr. Dak said in the statement.

Dak also wonders as to why they have not receive any response from the IGAD regarding their request which he said was formally sent to the regional body, IGAD.

“As I write this press release SPLM/SPLA leadership has not received any official communication from IGAD about the expected Summit on Sunday despite the fact that a request was earlier made to the regional body to consider our participation”, he added.

The Official Spokesperson for the Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement urges the IGAD to allow the SPLM-in opposition to be part of the meeting so that they can have “an informed decision on the situation in South Sudan”.

Peace talks between South Sudan’s warring factions have been continuing in Ethiopia with little or no success.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, at least one million South Sudanese have fled their homes, and hundreds of thousands of people have fled to the neighboring countries, according to the recent United Nations (UN) estimates.

Rights Group Protests the Invitation of South Sudan President to the United States, Calls for Demonstration

Washington, DC, July 30, 2014 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese rights agency, the Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD), has announced its objection against the invitation of South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayayrdiit, by the United States President Barack Obama to attend the 2014 US-Africa Leaders Submit scheduled to take place on August 6.

The conference comes after more than seven months of fighting in South Sudan.

The Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora is deeply troubled by the invitation of the leader of the war-torn nation, according to the group’s press statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency.

"ASSD Protest[s] the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir’s visit to the U.S. and Call on South Sudanese-Americans to Participate in Peaceful Demonstration in Washington, DC and across America”, the Alliance declared.

The block questions the decency behind the invitation and stated that it will join other South Sudanese civil society agencies to demonstrate against Kiir, adding that the South Sudanese leader has committed serious crimes and that he does not deserve to be invited by the human rights champion, the United States.

"The Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD) protest[s] the invitation of the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to the United States of America given the atrocities committed and human sufferings endured by innocent South Sudanese citizens under his administration; ASSD will be joining other South Sudanese civil society organizations in the upcoming Peaceful Demonstration scheduled for Wednesday, August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC”, the ASSD said in its official statement.

The three-day summit will focus on strengthening ties between the United States and the African nations.

“Discussions will center on how to encourage progress in key areas that Africans define as critical for the future of the continent: expanding trade and investment ties, engaging young African leaders, promoting inclusive sustainable development, expanding cooperation on peace and security, and gaining a better future for Africa’s next generation”, The White House Says on its website.

The forum will be attended by more than forty five (45) African leaders, official documents have shown.

The US-based rights group also calls on other human rights organizations to express their discontent against Kiir’s leadership. The ASSD further stated that survivors of Kiir’s December 2013 Juba massacre will join the planned demonstration.

The visit will be Kiir’s first trip to the US since the war broke out in Juba late last year.

Ethiopian Church Names South Sudanese ‘Peace Ambassador’

By Anteneh Yilma

Addis Ababa, July 28, 2014 (SSNA) -- As South Sudan entered crisis in December 2013, Ethiopia as a sisterly Country received more than 100,000 refugees from South Sudan. Some refugees are believed to move toward Uganda and Kenya while similar numbers of refugees are expected to settle in Sudan. Gatwech Koak Nyuon, a young man from South Sudan launched his campaigns to end 8 months conflict in his Country through ‘power of prayer’, a campaign which has been publicly supported by Christians communities around the World.

In three days conference organized by Youth of Lebu Kale Hiywot Church in Addis Ababa, Gatwech strongly urged the Christian Communities around the World to pray for South Sudan. He did not blame the warring parties but term the crisis as leadership struggle and it should simply be solved through dialogue and nonviolence. He added that thousands of deceased who lost their lives in the conflict will never be rose again. Meanwhile; the continuation of war between warring parties will swipe the productive ages and hinder the development in South Sudan. Both warring parties are due to kick-off next round of talk on July 30th, 2014. So far, IGAD had given 60 days to cease the fighting but both parties trade an accusation on battle of Nasir last weeks.

In a very emotional, provoking, charismatic speech attended by more than 200 youth, he hotly elaborated that “Christian Communities must bring this issue to an end through the power of prayer”. The audiences were so applause!! A 28 years old young man stood tall with purple suit was alone in the conference; I found him friendly and compassionate. Gatwech is the first South Sudanese to visit Lebu Kale Hiywot Church for the first time in history since its establishment in 1920s.

Ethiopian Kale Hiywot (Word of Life) Church (KHC) is the largest evangelical denomination in Ethiopia. Started in the early 1920s by pioneering Serving In Mission, formerly, Sudan Interior Mission, (SIM) missionaries, Kale Hiywot Church thrived in the South Central and South Western corners of the country during the five-year Italian occupation in the 1930s (Wikipedia).

Some audiences described Gatwech as the best motivational speaker ever. “He is so young; I didn’t expect this campaign to be initiated by him. His words inspired me. God loves him indeed!!” Mindaye Yohannes described.   

Lebu Kale Hiywot Church’s elders received prayer request to continue with it until a change is seen through power of prayer in South Sudan. Currently the overall Ethiopian Kale Hiywot Church has about or more than 7,774 local congregation and estimated 6.7 million members and adherents.

South Sudan problem is our problem as Africans, as children of God and as member of entire Human family. I also urge the Christian Communities to put this very hot issue to their concern either at family level or at church level wherever they reside.

On their parts, the Lebu Kale Hiywot Church conference facilitator congratulated Mr. Gatwech for his roles as a peace maker and forwards the prayer request voluntarily.

Consequently, one of an Evangelist declared him to be an Ambassador for Peace on their prayers. “On behalf of my congregations, I declared Mr. Gatwech to be an Ambassador for Peace and South Sudan will soon recover from the dust”. An Evangelist Teshome.  

Gatwech said that he would not give up. Instead he urged more prayers so that he should extend his visit to other African, European and US Countries for more prayers.

“As I started my campaign in Addis Ababa, this is just the beginning. I need more help from people so that this message should reach out globally and the only way to make this happen should be through prayers”. He calls on willingly people to pray for Ukraine, Syria, Central Africa Republic, Congo, Libya, Somalia etc...  

Gatwech speaks ‘Amharic’ and currently schooling in Mekane Yesus Management and Leadership College, a College administered by Ethiopian Evangelical Mekane Yesus Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He disclosed that he is working on Documentary to be released on YouTube so that people will pray bases on real situation.

The Author is an independent writer on Education and other Human Rights Issues based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He should be reach on: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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