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S.Sudan rebel leader Machar declines offer to visit Juba

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar,left, shakes hands with President Salva Kiir

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar,left, shakes hands with President Salva Kiir

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar turned down an invitation on Saturday from President Salva Kiir to visit the South Sudanese capital Juba.

Machar, the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In Opposition (SPLM IO), told Kiir in a meeting in Khartoum that the environment in South Sudan is not conducive for a visit by a rebel delegation.

"What is the security? I was concerned about that. Truly, if we are going to implement the peace agreement, there is that need for people moving to Juba, outside the areas of [rebel and government control]," Machar said.

"In our phone conversation, I had appealed to you to release the prisoners. First, prisoners of war. Second, political prisoners and detainees. I hope your excellency [President Kiir] has taken action because that builds confidence and trust among people [South Sudanese] when such an action is taken," he added.

Kiir, leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), said his group had released all prisoners of war in their custody by December.

According to the terms of the revitalized peace agreement, the signatories to the deal are supposed to submit names of their representatives who will be part of pre-transitional institutions, such as the revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, a body charged with monitoring the peace agreement, by Sept. 26.

President Kiir said his government is keen on implementing the September 12 revitalized peace agreement. He said he is ready to work with Machar to start a new chapter in South Sudan.

"We have to chat among[st] ourselves to nominate members of all the communities that are supposed to be formed [to implement the agreement]," Kiir said.

South Sudan army and rebels of the SPLM IO clashed in Yei River state three weeks ago right after signing the peace deal in Addis Ababa. Machar insisted that the a cease-fire agreement has been violated.

"What is important is that there is calm, so there is respect of the permanent cease-fire. Because without the respect of the permanent cease-fire, we will be deceiving ourselves that we are implementing an agreement when it is being violated, " he said.

Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel, Machar’s deputy military spokesman, issued a statement Saturday accusing the South Sudan army of attacking rebel positions in Yei River state. VOA could not independently verify his claims.

Chris Trott, the U.K. special representative for Sudan and South Sudan, told VOA last week the parties involved in the conflict in South Sudan have a chance to show their commitment to peace by implementing the revitalized agreement signed on September 12.

The British diplomat said his government was interested in seeing an end to violence and unhindered access to humanitarian agencies operating in South Sudan. He said that if the parties failed to honour their commitments as stipulated in the peace agreement, sanctions would remain an option.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir organized a peace award ceremony in Khartoum over the weekend to reward Kiir and Machar for signing the revitalized peace deal.

Comments

0 #1 Akot 2018-09-24 19:00
[S.Sudan rebel leader Machar declines offer to visit Juba]

So, Machar is a foreigner & can only step feet in S. Sudan on invitation recieved on red carpet?

Why has Machar not asked to be made president then flown in with S. Sudanese on knees, with tears on faces to show they are happy to receive him?

How many S. Sudanese have died in this power struggle between Machar & Kiir, while China controls their oil & S. Sudanese are among thousands taking refuge in Uganda, Europe?

Have Kiir/Machar not been evil enough & destroyed the very people they claim representing?
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-1 #2 Akot 2018-09-24 19:10
["What is the security? I was concerned about that. Truly, if we are going to implement the peace agreement, there is that need for people moving to Juba, outside the areas of [rebel and government control]," Machar said.]

Really?

Is this insecure situation not cause by you, Machar, by not wanting to compromise & put your people's interest first, to save them?

Kiir is a demon & so are you Machar & both of you do not deserve to even address any meeting on behalf of the people you don't care about, yet use against one another!

But of course, just as Uganda situation, it's only UNITY of S. Sudanese that will stop Kiir, Machar from believing destroying ignorant divided people is their birth right!
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+1 #3 A K Mukasa 2018-09-24 20:06
It appears you can only get dictators around the table by fighting fire with fire. Begging them like we are doing in Uganda, is simply a waste of time and resources.

If you vow not to use violence to force them out or to come to the table, whilst they are using violence to keep you down, they are unlikely to respect you or your views.

The opposition should cease ruling anything out because they are not dealing with a reasonable person or group. You think Kiri came to the table because he had seen the error of his ways? No. It was because his feet were held to the fire.
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+2 #4 Lysol 2018-09-24 21:04
The last time Machar was in Juba, he was chased away and hunted down by Museveni's militia (aka SFC) up to the jungles of the Congo before Bashir rescued him.

These guys are so blinded by power and so gullible.
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0 #5 juwait kali 2018-09-25 23:33
Am with you AkOT on this one this idiot machar immediately after gaining independence from racist Arabs in the North he straight away went to war.

Why not give a black newly born country a chance. What are you going to change yourself in just a few years.

Its not all about you being president. Kosovans, Israels, Ghanaians are enjoying their country because of nationhood.
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