Akol declines to participate in the National Dialogue, slams Beda

Chairman of the National Democratic Movement, Dr. Lam Akol |Photo: File

Nov 10, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Chairman of the National Democratic Movement, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, has rejected an invitation from the Co-Chair of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, Angelo Beda, to participate in the ND meetings.

“I am writing this note to you as the Chairperson of the Committee formed by Angelo Beda or sanctioned by him to meet me in an attempt to persuade me to join the so-called “National Dialogue” conference. This morning, I listened to a statement he gave before the delegates full of lies regarding my position on this “National Dialogue,” said Dr. Lam Akol, in a letter penned to Hon. Amer.

Lam Akol

Akol explained that he has never been in a position to support the National Dialogue since its inception.

Here are the few points made by opposition leader Lam Akol.

• 1) At no time did I or my organization support or bless the “National Dialogue”. When it was announced on 14 December 2016, we rejected it in an official press statement.

• 2) When he sent the late Gabriel Yoal Dok to meet the NDM delegation, we agreed to meet him in Khartoum. Our delegation was led by our Secretary General by then, David William, and included Mrs Maridi Luigi and Peter Lomude. All of them are now in Juba. The position they presented was written.

It reiterated our earlier position regarding why we rejected the “National Dialogue” as proposed by Juba. Angelo Beda should provide proof for his baseless claim that I agreed to participate in that exercise. He should not lie in the name of the late who I am sure must have told him the truth about what transpired in their meeting with the NDM delegation.

• 3) Angelo wrote to me about this current conference on 28 September 2020 and I replied him on 7 October 2020. This is the letter he now claims was a deviation from my supposedly earlier position of supporting participation in his dialogue. Please, take time and compare the three documents, you will find that the contents are strikingly similar if not identical. If Angelo Beda was sincere and transparent about the matters of the conference as he claimed in his opening statement, why didn’t he share this letter with the conferee then. In fact, there was not even a mention of the NDM that it declined to take part in his conference.My hunch tells me that if you did not ask for that letter, he wouldn’t have talked about it. Now he takes a good time of the delegates talking about a person he thought was a non-entity and heaping all problems of South Sudan on the “educated”! When the apologists of the regime talk like that we know who they mean. Of course, the corollary of such a statement is that we will be all right without education. Little wonder our country is going down the drain.

• 4) Angelo Beda did not stop at that. He delved into an area that exposed his ignorance. He claimed that he agreed with SSOA that they will participate in the conference and that when I did not find what I wanted in SSOA I pulled out and formed another organization. First, SSOA is an alliance composed of a number of political parties. Our party, the National Democratic Movement (NDM), is a founding member of SSOA and continues to be a member up to the moment of writing. Second, being an alliance, each party in SSOA has the right to take its own individual decision regarding matters on which no common position of SSOA exists. This “National dialogue” is one such matter. Some parties agreed to participate and others, including the NDM, declined to do so. This does not tear SSOA apart. Third, the burden of proof now lies with Angelo Beda to tell the South Sudanese when did I pull out of SSOA and what is the name of the organization I formed thereafter. One finds excuse in Angelo Beda’s inability to grasp such simple organizational matters as his political life was spent under totalitarian regimes.

• 5) I declined to participate in this conference out of principle. I believe it is a side show meant to derail the Revitalized Peace Agreement we have all worked hard to bring about. I appreciate your sense of inclusivity that prompted you to look for those not on the table. Unfortunately, it is the wrong one.

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