May 28, 2014 (NAIROBI) – The top leader of the opposition armed faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-In-Opposition), Riek Machar, on Wednesday met with the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at the State House in Nairobi.
- Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta (Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko)
In a press statement extended to Sudan Tribune, Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, said the two leaders held a long closed door meeting in which they discussed a wide-range of issues pertaining to the peace process between the SPLM/A (in opposition) and South Sudan’s government.
“Our chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, has on Wednesday met with the president of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, at the State House. The long meeting was cordial and examined the mechanisms in the ongoing IGAD-mediated peace process between our movement and the Juba regime,” Dak said.
The former vice-president-turned rebel leader flew to Nairobi on Tuesday from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on the invitation of the Kenyan leadership.
Dak added that Machar also met with other senior Kenyan government officials.
The rebel leader’s next diplomatic tour is expected to be the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, for a meeting with president Omer Hassan al-Bashir to discuss the peace process in order to end the war in South Sudan.
He is also expected to visit a number of other regional countries, yet to be disclosed by the rebel group.
The rebel leader’s spokesperson earlier ruled out a possibility of Machar’s visit to Uganda, saying “Kampala and Juba are partners in war crime against a section of the society in South Sudan.”
The opposition group has been demanding the withdrawal of the Ugandan troops from South Sudan, accusing them of interfering in the internal affairs of the latter.
Uganda, however, said it entered the new nation in response to invitation by president Salva Kiir in order to help maintain stability and protect the country’s vital installations.