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South Sudan’s Machar wraps up “successful” visit to Kenya

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June 1, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese former vice-president and leader of the armed opposition faction of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-in Opposition), Riek Machar, has wrapped up what his spokesperson has described as “successful” engagement with the Kenyan top leadership during his six days visit to the country.

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South Sudan’s former vice-president and leader of the SPLM in Opposition, Riek Machar (L) gives a joint press statement with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta in the capital, Nairobi, on 30 May 2014 (ST)

“Dr. Riek Machar, our chairman, has on Sunday returned to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, after six days of successful consultations or engagement with the Kenyan top leadership in Nairobi,” Machar’s spokesman James Gatdet Dak told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

The rebel leader arrived in the Kenyan capital on Tuesday in his first leg tour of a number of the regional countries, particularly those that take part in the IGAD-led mediation efforts in Addis Ababa between the opposition group and the government.

Dak said his boss who was in Kenya for the first time since Deember 2013 convincingly told the rebels’ side of the story in response to an alleged coup attempt narrative which he said was fabricated by the leadership in Juba.

President Salva Kiir accused Machar of allegedly plotting a coup, which the latter dismissed as a false claim used by the president to get rid of his political reformists within the ruling party.

Violence then erupted on 15 December when the president allegedly ordered his presidential guards unit commander to disarm Machar’s Nuer soldiers resulting to the massacre of thousands of Nuer civilians in the capital.

Machar’s 12 colleagues were arrested but were subsequently released for lack of evidence in court to prove that the coup attempt took place.

Dak said part of the meetings between the two leaders provided an opportunity for Machar to exonerate himself. They extensively discussed how to reach a political settlement that would end the crisis in South Sudan.

The rebel leader also held separate meetings with the vice-president William Ruto and minister for foreign affairs, Amina Mohamed.

After Wednesday meeting between Kenyatta and Machar, South Sudan president Salva Kiir conducted an abrupt visit to Nairobi, during which he also met with president Kenyatta.

The spokesperson however said Kiir’s visit did not affect the momentum in the positive engagement between Kenyatta and Machar.

“President Kenyatta publicly commended Dr. Machar and further encouraged him to continue to pursue and achieve a governance system in South Sudan that would usher in peace and development,” Dak added.

Dak said an office was being opened in Nairobi to cater for both humanitarian interventions and political contacts in Kenya.

“The SPLM (in opposition) office in Kenya will coordinate efforts geared towards humanitarian interventions in areas under our full control in South Sudan. It will also facilitate political contacts with the Kenyan leadership as well as with foreign diplomatic corps in Nairobi,” Dak further stressed.

During a joint press statement at the State House on Friday, President Kenyatta commended the two parties for the roadmap agreement they signed which he said recognised the need for “inclusion of all stakeholders.”

He urged the leader of the SPLM/A in opposition to continue with the commitment to achieve peace and better governance system in the new country.

“I am encouraged that you are committed to the achievement of a governance system that will allow sustainable peace and development in South Sudan. I urge you and your team to remain robustly engaged on contributing in good faith to a framework for political settlement of the crisis in South Sudan,” partly reads the statement by President Kenyatta.

The rebels expressed their gratitude to the Kenyan government and the people of Kenya for the invitation and its resultant positive engagements.

Kenya has had historical position of neutrality in Sudanese conflicts over the years.

The country played a neutral role while mediating during the armed conflicts between the then northern and southern Sudan as well as during the split within the SPLM movement in 1990s.

While in Nairobi the rebel leader also conducted several meetings with intellectuals and civil society organizations based in Kenya.

Sudan, which South Sudan broke away from in 2011, is one of the next possible destinations by the rebel’s top leader. Other countries to visit on the diplomatic offensive are yet to be officially confirmed.

(ST)

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  • 2 June 07:07, by Lotodo Awino Odug

    This red eye Uhuru, The Kenyan drug dealer even took Ricky to the saloon for trimming and lotioning, instead of letting him look like Saddam Hasan, who was pulled of the hole with hair face and unruly scallop hair.

    repondre message

    • 2 June 07:28, by Mi diit

      Lotodo,
      Thanks for outburst of your jealousy. Your uncle Kiir has lost president Kenyatta, sorry. But for your information, president Kenyatta is well educated and well versed with the world politics unlike your red-eyed drunkard, primitive, illiterate cowboy Kiir Kuethpiny, who is also a mass murderer.

      repondre message

      • 2 June 22:59, by Force 1

        Midit
        Why back to Ethiopia? shouldn’t he support to come back to South Sudan? Well; I believe he knows the dateline of General Malong!

        repondre message

    • 2 June 11:41, by Simon Puok Nyang Tutjiek

      Long awaiting president of Republic of South Sudan Dr. Machar had a very successful convinced meeting with Kenyatta.
      Its better to be hated for telling the truth than to be love for telling lies, so Machar broke Salva’s fake fabricated Coup plot & Machar is the father for Self Determination and will be father for Democracy in South Sudan.
      Bravo Dr. Riek Machar- The president of Republic South Suda

      repondre message

  • 2 June 07:13, by Mapuor

    The current rebellion has no justification what so ever,Mr Riek Macar is just killing Nuers for nothing.Nuers form biggest part of South Sudan government and the exclusivity that rebels claim will only benefit other political parties and ethnics groups especially minorities who were not considered by him when he was a de facto head of the government.

    repondre message

    • 2 June 16:40, by Joseph Canada

      Mapuor, Dr. Riek do not fight for the Nuer People alone. The former VP is fighting the corruption in Juba and the Nepotistical Government. Even further more, he didn’t take the Arms against the leadership in Juba. He took the political and democratic position to let the south Sudanses know why the Govt. system didn’t work but Kiir took the arms. Kiir is the one who started all this not Dr. Riek.

      repondre message

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