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South Sudan’s rival leaders to hold direct talks on Friday

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May 5, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has agreed to meet face to face with former vice-president turned rebel leader Riek Machar on Friday, senior diplomats in Juba disclosed on Monday.

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South Sudan’s then vice-president Riek Machar (L) and president Salva Kiir pay their respects at John Garang’s Mausoleum, during the celebration of the second anniversary celebrations of South Sudan’s independence in the capital, on 9 July 2013 (Photo: Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)

“The Ethiopian prime minister in his capacity as the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has notified the government of the meeting which the president had accepted to take place between him and Riek Machar,” a senior diplomat told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“I am told the meeting will take place [this] Friday 9 [April],” added the official who requested anonymity.

He, however, did not elaborate on the agenda the two leaders would discus, although many analysts and observers say the meeting would diffuse the tensions and raise hope for a cessation of hostilities.

Several leading rebel officials reached by Sudan Tribune also confirmed receiving similar notification from the mediation team. They equally said the two leaders would meet on 9 May for the first time since the conflict erupted in the country’s capital, Juba, in 15 December 2013.

“Yes, it is true we also received the same notification today (Monday) from the mediation team. We hope this will calm down the situation. On our side, Dr. Riek Machar has no problem to meet with Salva Kiir,” a key rebel leader said from Addis Ababa on Monday.

The current situation would have not developed to the level it is today if president Kiir had accepted to engage in dialogue with the other SPLM leaders before the start of violence in the country, he added.

US secretary of state John Kerry during a visit to Juba last week said the two antagonists will meet to reaffirm their commitment to the cessation of hostilities agreement and discuss a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

However rebel leader Riek Machar on Saturday said that any agreement on a power-sharing transitional government without a programme would be meaningless.

“I asked him (Kerry) what would be the purpose of a transitional government? It would not be workable without a programme to implement before elections come,” Machar told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

“We need to have a peace agreement first with a new constitution. Putting [a] transitional government first is not realistic,” he added.

Speaking to reporters in Luanda, Angola, Kerry minimised the objections raised by the former vice-president and said the expects that the meeting between Kiir and Machar would takes place as scheduled.

“He left the door open,” Kerry said when he was speaking about Machar position, adding that the rebel leader “expressed some doubts, but he didn’t say he wouldn’t go”.

Machar “has a fundamental decision to make. If he decides not to and procrastinates then we have a number of different options that are available to us. We said we are serious and there will be accountability and implications if people do not join into this legitimate effort,” the American top diplomat further pointed out.

The bishop of the reformed Episcopal of South Sudan, Gabriel Roric, called on the two warring parties to observe the truce they agreed and to comment themselves to achieve a sustainable peace and development , adding that the Church had intensified prayers for reconciliation.

“We the Christians of different communions have come together in the common cause of peace, are deeply concerned about the growing hostilities and the suffering which our people continues to face,” Roric told Sudan Tribune in a separate interview on Monday.

He said the church would engage in prayers of penitence and petition with the people scarred and pained by the division of the nation and support the efforts of the National Council of Church for reconciliation, peace and reunification.

Roric further urged the two sides to engage in talks in good faith to end suffering. Also he called on the United States and all stakeholders involved to immediately resuming dialogue and negotiations to establish a peace agreement eliminating the threat of sanction and conventional war thereby establishing an enduring peace it also called the UN Security Council to support peace efforts between the two rivals.

(ST)

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  • 5 May 23:49, by Nyesi Ta

    There you go; You can see the evil on the president’s face. He is really a dark hearted man who could kill just to retain his position. Mr. president just prepare to exit and leave south Sudanese to determine their future. History has and will always remember you as a failed leader.

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    • 6 May 06:16, by Ahmed Chol

      Kiir and Riek got to be punished. They don’t deserve to live!

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      • 6 May 09:30, by Force 1

        The party that’s defeated militarily is the one that should surrender by laying down arms! The main reason for fighting in the first place was to take the government by force; why try to talk now? No reward for bad behaviors!

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      • 6 May 09:42, by Adodi Jotuwa

        The US’s State Secretary John Kerry is playing politics and dealing only with the symptoms of the problem of South Sudan political conflict, not the real solution. If US Democrats are really democratic, why did they fail to blame Dr. Fool Riek right from the beginning, not to use violence as a means of assuming presidency/leadership since 1991?

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        • 6 May 09:43, by Adodi Jotuwa

          In US, the Democrats know this perfectly well that nobody in the likes of Dr. Fool Riek will even dream of assuming US Presidency due to poor political record and the issue of constant shift of allegiance since 1991. We have so many educated Nuers who do not rely on prophecy of Ngundeng anymore due to circumstantial differences and can be voted in to lead the nascent country.

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          • 6 May 09:45, by Adodi Jotuwa

            How can the West in general or John Kerry in particular surface today to blame Dr. Fool for the brutal killings that happened recently in Bentiu regardless of signed cease fire that Dr. Fool was supposed to abide by? John Kerry failed to blame Riek since 1991 when he massacred people in Bor before surrendering to Khartoum and later signed his bogus agreement of KPA-1997 in search of leadership.

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    • 6 May 06:53, by mathem jech amer

      Nyesi Ta
      If Kiir was a killer,then what so called POLITICO Detainees have nowhere to be seen. He is a peaceful man.Ask Sudanese if you know the history of Sudan which you don’t.How many coups happened during Bashir reign & how many killed,remember 90s when there was coup, all the 47 high ranking top officials were killed plus humdreds of supporters,did Kiir do that?Riek rebels killed 30000 innocen

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    • 6 May 08:04, by Johndumo14

      The USA and other powerful Nations are playing politics on South Sudan.
      Why him John Kerry didnot condemns the rebels when the rebels recaptured malakal and Bentui even more than 200 sudanese traders were killed by rebels.
      U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said his government “condemns in the strongest terms” a new offensive by South Sudanese government forces against opposition-held positions.

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    • 6 May 10:31, by Johndumo14

      DR Riek Machar has been wounded in Nasr fight,he fell into a hole and broke his leg,when he was running towards the Ethipia border now he and his wife arrived to Gambela Ethiopia,and he has been flown to Addiss Abbaba for treatment.

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  • 5 May 23:54, by Kim Deng

    The Nuer underestimated the power of Dinka Kingdom. They (Nuer) thought it would be between the Nuer vs Dinka, but the ugly war becomes Nuer Vs Dinka, 60+ tribes and their allies (Uganda, GEM...). If it’s Nuer vs Dinka, the war would have been over in December 2013.

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  • 5 May 23:57, by AUGUSTINO DENG

    This is just a stupid talk.If I were Salva Kiir, I could kill this glutton and shallow minded leader.I am 100% sure that Nuer are playing. When SPLA was in war in 1983 until 2005, all Nuer were fighting against SPLA. This time they pretended themselves that they know something.On my side, to makes Riek Machar as a president of South Sudan, it is better to give it to Omar Bashir. Or we killed him.

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  • 6 May 00:09, by AUGUSTINO DENG

    If Riek Machar died today, where can we go and buried him?
    Nuer need to cry this time that Riek Machar is dead. If Riek Machar died, we will chop his body and give it to animals otherwise if we buried him, all stupid Nuer people will come and pray on his grave. Big asshole nuer leader even all asshole nuer are the same to him.

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  • 6 May 00:09, by Kim Deng

    Nuer believe that both sides could get only logistics support from outside instead using altogether. But they (Nuer) were very wrong since it’s has been the Dinka culture to use others and fight their war(s).

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  • 6 May 00:10, by Kim Deng

    In 1908-10, the British sought to end the Nuer occupation toward Dinkaland and established control over the area. A new border between the Nuer and Dinka was established at the favor of Dinka at Duk Padiet, fifty miles north of Kongor, and the Ghol, Ric, and Nyarraweng were awarded about four thousand aquare miles of territory they had previously lost during Nuer expansion.

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    • 6 May 06:26, by Dengda

      Kim Deng, I hope you understanding what you fighting for, Riek is fighting for Nuer to Conquered Dinka Bor or Nyanweng nor Twic land. I hope you would say because you missed the point. I am Dinka by the way,from Greater upper Nille or more specifically from Jonglei. If I can condemned Nuer fighters as whole, i would say you are fighting your brother, who could help you, by all means, the fight.

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      • 6 May 06:39, by Dengda

        I would like to correct my self,I mean Riak is not fighting to Conguered Dinka Bor. But he fighting to Changed the system, unless you want to chase away your supporters, but remember, you cannot be in the government without others. My point here, you are fighting your supporters, this conflict should started in Warrap Sate previously in order to inflicted the pain Greater Uppernile suppering.

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        • 6 May 07:00, by Ahmed Chol

          Dengda,
          Only your Twic people are supporting Riek against Bor. So you are a supporter of Riek, now your people are running back and forth between Government and rebels. They go and lie to Nuer that "we are your supporters without contributing soldiers" and they come back to Juba and said " we are not rebels". This is idiocy.

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  • 6 May 00:11, by Kim Deng

    Although a substantial portion of this grant represented an uninhabited no-man’s-land between the Nuer and the Dinka, the Nuer were also required to relinquish territory under active occupation. The Nuer undoubtedly viewed the transfer as a government-sponsored Dinka invasion.

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  • 6 May 00:23, by Kim Deng

    Had the Nuer ever wished to occupy the whole greater Upper Nile, from Renk to Mading Bor and from Ruweng/Biemnom to Buma-Gambella, it seems unlikely that the other coward Jurs (Jaang, Teet, Bar, Chai…) could have stopped them.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27281666

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    • 6 May 00:46, by AUGUSTINO DENG

      Kim Deng,
      You and your stupid leader Riek Machar,you will never win this war. First of all, you need to know that Dinka are only found in South Sudan. There is no Dinka in Ethiopia,or elsewhere in Africa, which means South Sudan was inhabited by Dinka and Dinka accommodated Nuer when they entered South Sudan to look for food. Asshole

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      • 6 May 03:30, by Developer

        Dr.Riak Machar, your are hero. Don’t reject to face this selffish president Kiir. I know what you will table with him;first is interim government without Kiir.second is rewritting unfit Kiir’s constitution that has been governing Dinka.third will be gen.election. All equatorian are behind you and they kn that this war is not in your plan but in Kiir plan that he wanted to damage your creditability

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  • 6 May 05:08, by Philosopherking

    These guys should think deeply about what they are fighting for. They should both step aside, make way 4 an interim federal government 2 prepare level platform 4 general elections in 2017, enact major government and constitutional reforms & dismantle the SPLM to allows the formation of new political parties. Be4 reconciliation btn them, they need 2 ask 4 forgiveness 4rm de pple they betrayed.

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  • 6 May 06:21, by barbayo

    machar was rejected face to face talk with President Kirr ,when he was in Nasir , after he ran 6 hours by foot to Ethiopia he accept face to face every things come bottle neck to him .

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    • 6 May 07:52, by Gangura

      we are going to hear which english his Kirr will use.

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      • 6 May 09:54, by John The President

        Guara
        don’t be stupid to take pride of someone else language, the legacy of English still goes back to the English people. Do you know why many Countries have maintained and continues to use their own languages?. Chninese, our neighbors Eithiopian, even in Europe many Countries have stick to their languages. bring your shallow mind back to how this senesless war that has engulf the nation be addr

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  • 6 May 13:22, by Jalaby

    Mr. Kiir is standing on weak ground while Mr. Machar is standing on solid ground, in other words, Kiir is losing while Machar is gaining therefore Machar is expected to put very high demands on the table when he sits with Kiir for peace negotiation and that will likely include Kiir resignation which Kiir will immediately decline!

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    • 6 May 13:32, by Jalaby

      In the other hand, Kiir will offer Machar his previous VP position as before but Machar will likely immediately decline his offer because many water has run under the bridge and that old model has become invalid and expired!
      Anyone who believes this conflict is just between these two gentlemen is deeply wrong! This conflict ran out of being contained between them

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      • 6 May 13:38, by Jalaby

        In fact this conflict took the most horror direction and became between the two historical rival tribes in the south over who should rule and dominate!
        This conflict is very complicated than just containing it between Kiir and Machar!
        Hence I expect the coming meeting between Kiir/Machar comes up with zero output if not be worse than that and be below zero (Minus)!!

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  • 6 May 13:48, by Jalaby

    To Sudantribune,
    I can see you removed my sarcasm cartoon picture because I ridiculed the military situation in the south of being in & out for both forces and resembled it as "Tom & Jerry"!
    Please tell me, where is the offensive here? did I offend any one by any mean??!!! why you removed my cartoon picture?!!

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    • 6 May 13:53, by Jalaby

      you guys as journalists talk about free media and every body right of expressing his opinions freely and now you censored other comments because wrote something you personally don’t like despite it doesn’t offend or insult any one in particular!!

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      • 6 May 13:59, by Jalaby

        don’t you think censoring people comment here is against your principle that you call for?!
        France is hosting your website now, would it be acceptable for you if France decides to freeze your website because you write something they don’t like?
        I feel sorry for your double standard!
        Thanks any way!!

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