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Khartoum says Machar’s visit in the interests of peace in South Sudan

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August 3, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s foreign minister, Ali Karti, has announced that South Sudan’s former vice-president turned rebel leader, Riek Machar, will arrive in Khartoum soon, adding that his visit comes in the framework of regional efforts to restore peace in the neighbouring country.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir (L), and rebel leader Riek Machar (R) shake hands and pray before signing a ceasefire agreement aimed at ending conflict in the country in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 9 May 2014 (Photo: AP/Elias Asmare)

Machar resides currently in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the venue of the peace talks since several months. He was received in Nairobi, Djibouti, and Pretoria, respectively, where he held talks with the leaders of those countries in which dismissed accusations that he attempted to overthrow president Salva Kiir in December last year.

The former vice-president also called on the regional leaders to support his plan for democratic political reforms.

The government in Juba which signed a cessation of hostilities agreement since 23 January observes with scepticism the moves of the rebel leader. Officials at different times openly or implicitly accused Khartoum of harbouring or supporting the rebels.

Speaking to the press after his return from Mauritania on Sunday, Karti told reporters that Machar will meet president Omer al-Bashir and government officials to discuss the peace process.

The Sudanese foreign minister denied accusations that his government supported either side in the conflict.

"Sudan has no interest in the continuation of the war in the South (Sudan) and it does not support one party against the other," Karti said adding, "our interest that both sides sign a peace agreement, and we hope it would be soon."

Karti did not give the date of the visit but unconfirmed reports say he may arrive in Khartoum on Tuesday.

Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak when contacted by phone on Sunday said his boss would visit Khartoum in the next few days.

“Yes, Dr. Machar will visit Khartoum in the next few days. We are making final touches on the arrangements for his visit,” Dak told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

IGAD STATES TO RECEIVE MACHAR

Karti further explained that IGAD countries agreed to receive Machar in their respective countries to listen to his positions and to encourage him to reach a peaceful settlement to the almost eight-month-long conflict.

He added that Machar’s regional tour has been approved by IGAD leaders, including president Salva Kiir.

Karti further pointed out that the deadly conflict in the new southern neighbour, which broke away from Sudan in July 2011, has affected Sudanese common interests.

"The common interests between Sudan and South Sudan in the economic areas and others are affected by this conflict," he further said.

Since last May, Machar had to visit Khartoum but the visit was delayed as president Bashir undergone a knee surgery.

In a radio talk show during the last week of July, Karti said his government preferred to keep a low profile in the ongoing efforts to end the South Sudanese crisis to avoid any accusations that Khartoum tries to take advantage of the situation and impose a solution serving its interests.

(ST)

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  • 4 August 07:13, by Mi diit

    What a big difference! While Dr. PEACE&DEMOCRACY (Machar) is making diplomatic offensive in order to bring back peace to South Sudan, Gen KILLER&DICTATOR (Kiir) is doing the opposite by preparing for military offensives against the rebels. IGAD and the world should be the judge!

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    • 4 August 08:01, by denng

      I don’t support Kiir what so ever but Riak is not an alternative, he just wants to rule. A lot of south sudanese like yourself refuse to learn from history. I believe Kiir should step down because his corrupted administration is bad for us in the long run, and the things that took place during his rule including the massacre of Nuer in Juba is unacceptable. But Riak stabbed the movement,,,,,

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      • 4 August 08:07, by denng

        Riak stabbed the movement in the back in ’91 when we finally had a military advantage over the north and the war was almost over, know your history. And then ran to khartoum while still claiming to be a seperatist. And he and Matip both helped the north drill the oil and protected the fields for bashir against the south. The oil was flowing north from 1997 until 2011. They gave khartoum money ,,,,

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        • 4 August 08:13, by denng

          The gave khartoum money to pay their debts and reinforce their army and bashir’s government survived until today. I can give you more examples but i think you got the point. We can not support someone as unpatriotic as Riak to lead us, it would be a shame on us. Personally i beleive south sudan is doomed and we should think of going seperate but manageable ways. ,,,,,,

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          • 4 August 08:18, by denng

            Federalism is good but it will not save us. I think the Upper Nile, Western Bahr Ghazal and especially Equatoria should declare their nations. None of us should suffer another civil war over things that are considered reforms in other countries.

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    • 4 August 09:52, by Mayom County Boy

      the visit of Mr Machar to Khartoum is nothing to government of Republic of south sudan .
      let us make is offensive touring like what he did to IGAD countries , for this short time , he will return back soon to HE president Salva Kiir Mayardit like what he did during 1991 , when he revolt against SPLA government .

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  • 4 August 07:27, by Madina Tonj

    Riek Machar Teny will soon follow Garang Mabior Atem and William Deng Nhial and those who will do that are absolutely Nuers people who have had lost their Sons 2 times for his factionalism in South Sudan. Mayom county, Nasir county and even Leer county are not merely tired but also they felt bad about many young civilians got killed because of his caused and these counties are against faction

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  • 4 August 07:27, by Madina Tonj

    Riek Machar Teny will soon follow Garang Mabior Atem and William Deng Nhial and those who will do that are absolutely Nuers people who have had lost their Sons 2 times for his factionalism in South Sudan. Mayom county, Nasir county and even Leer county are not merely tired but also they felt bad about many young civilians got killed because of his caused and these counties are against faction

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  • 4 August 07:28, by Madina Tonj

    Riek Machar Teny will soon follow Garang Mabior Atem and William Deng Nhial and those who will do that are absolutely Nuers people who have had lost their Sons 2 times for his factionalism in South Sudan. Mayom county, Nasir county and even Leer county are not merely tired but also they felt bad about many young civilians got killed because of his caused and these counties are against faction

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    • 4 August 08:05, by Gangura

      I love this Man who is called Dr. Machar

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      • 4 August 08:48, by denng

        Marry him,lool

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      • 5 August 02:34, by what the hell

        You most gay. Get him before he goes to khartoum the Arabs will not leave him the are going to marry him he always run to khartoum get fuck by Arabs so that he gets support fuck that man

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  • 4 August 10:03, by Dengic

    Machar is an old wife to Bashir,so let them see each other.You guys should leave him alone because the visit is special though taken in the name of regional tour of IGAD countries.

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    • 5 August 02:22, by Ito

      The upcoming visit by Charismatic, visionary and democratic leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon will help in making the Sudanese, regional and world leaders understand the root causes of South Sudanese conflict. The crumbling regime in Juba will not succeed but is on the dying side. Those who are scratching the wounds of the past must understand that Riek is not God. All are sinners but he

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      • 5 August 02:24, by Ito

        provenn himself as the best leader for South Sudan and is cited by the world to be a non tribal leader in South Sudan unlike the current tribalistic and uneducated president Salva Kiir. As Bible says, jealous and evil people will always be against a good samaritan and this is what is happening to Dr. Riek, some hate him for doing good for the nation.

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        • 5 August 02:44, by what the hell

          What nation you idiot Riek is number one tribelist he most be a best leader for nuer not south sudan a ruthless killer someone who doesn’t have regards to his own people or country shame on nuer people for this kind of leader to them

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