A renowned Kenyan Lawyer and Orator, PLO Lumumba, is appealing to President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to reflect on the suffering of the ordinary South Sudanese in their meeting today.
This evening, President Kiir is expected to hold a face-to-face meeting with Dr. Machar in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Dr. Riek Machar arrived in Addis Ababa this morning; and President Kiir, this afternoon.
In his appeal, Prof. Lumumba says the conflict in South Sudan only advances the interests of the leaders, and the expense of the civil population.
He called on the East African Community and the African Union to ensure the meeting of the two leaders yield a lasting peace.
“My appeal to the leaders who are meeting in Addis Ababa is that the time has come that they must ask themselves the foundational questions: How will they be remembered by historians when the history of South Sudan is written?” He asked.
“How would those who lost their lives remember them? How would the pioneers of the struggle of independence such as John Garang de Mabior remember them?”
He was speaking to an online campaign platform called: “The South Sudan We Want.”
In 2015, the government rejected PLO Lumumba after being nominated by IGAD to chair the National Constitutional Amendment Committee of South Sudan.
Prof. Lumumba – who is the Director of the Kenya School of Laws – says the two leaders should ensure that the dividends of the 2011 independence are realized by the South Sudanese.
“We cannot longer afford the luxury of hiding our heads in the sand,” he told the leaders.
“It’s important that peace prevails in South Sudan. President Kiir, Dr Riek Machar, please do South Sudan a favor: Sacrifice your personal ambitions at the altar of the greater good.”