The SPLM-IO and the National Democratic Movement have reportedly declined an invitation to participate in the ongoing National Dialogue conference.
The two parties are led by First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, and Dr. Lam Akol, respectively.
According to officials at the National Dialogue steering committee, the two leaders rejected attempts to also include their delegates in the conference.
They reportedly told the organizers that the initiative was launched prior to their return to Juba.
President Salva Kiir launched the initiative in 2017 to unite, reconcile, and project the country’s future.
Various regional conferences have been held across the country and in the diaspora while the government and the opposition were negotiating the revitalized peace agreement.
The national delegates’ conference is currently taking place in Juba.
More than 500 representatives from different communities and political parties are participating in the 14-day conference.
But the head of the information committee at the National Dialogue said the SPLM-IO and the NDM -who are signatories to the peace deal -are not participating.
“They said it was started when they were not in the country. So they are not part of it. This is the reason even Lam Akol is saying the same thing,” Vincent Wanga told Eye Radio on Tuesday.
Last year while in Khartoum, Dr. Machar had indicated he would join the national dialogue when a team from Juba consulted him on the matter.
The co-chairs of the initiative have also held several meetings with Dr. Machar while in Juba.
It is not clear what specific reservations the SPLM-IO and the NDM have over the national dialogue conference.
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