Picture: Museveni quietly enters Juba

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President Kiir receives Museveni at Freedom Hall in the capital Juba [PHOTO: Maal Maker, Office of the President]

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, is in the South Sudan capital, Juba, to attend the national dialogue initiative.

The ceremony now ongoing at Freedom Hall in Juba is attended by top South Sudan government officials and heads of diplomatic missions accredited to South Sudan.

Members of the political parties and diplomatic corps are also in attendance.

The wife of South Sudan founder, John Garang, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, and Kosti Manibe both turned down their appointments to the committee.

The dialogue was opened this morning by President Salva Kiir. The country’s Acting Chief Justice, Gatwech Lul, sworn in the national dialogue steering committee.

Museveni, who is part of the dialogue was this month met the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on the need to raise over US$2bn emergency funds to handle the humanitarian crisis caused by the South Sudan conflict.

Museveni told the UN chief that he had been allowed by President Kiir to mediate the warring factions in South Sudan.

“I will use the IGAD monitoring report and work with the IGAD chairman, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to see that those who abuse the ceasefire are talked to,” said Museveni at the side-lines of the International Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House in London.

The co-chair of the committee of the said dialogue, Abel Alier, a former President of the Regional Government, in his speech, assured all the people of South Sudan that my team with given political capital from the leadership, will ensure inclusivity, integrity and transparency of the National Dialogue process.

“We intend – at the outset –to consult with all the major stakeholders inside and outside the country. This consultation will focus on two things; the agenda and the process of the National Dialogue process -by organizing the national dialogue process around a constituency based system which consists of multiple forums and levels,” he said.

In December 2016, President Kiir, whose wrangling for power with his former deputy Riek Machar plunged the world’s newest nation into a brutal conflict, Kiir called for “national dialogue” to end the ongoing civil war.

Kiir pointed out that the national dialogue will be bottom-top approach to address local grievances and political issues in the country.

But the opposition described the dialogue to end the ongoing conflict as “bogus”.