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South Sudan’s Machar meets with Kenyan president

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 27, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese rebel leader and former vice-president Riek Machar has held a meeting with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, a rebel official said on Tuesday.

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South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar (L) gives a joint press statement with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta in the capital, Nairobi, on 30 May 2014 (ST)

David Dang, the rebel faction’s deputy representative to Ethiopia and the African Union (AU), told Sudan Tribune that Machar arrived in Nairobi on Saturday for bilateral talks with the Kenyan government.

Machar and Kenyatta discussed the ongoing political turmoil in South Sudan and options for moving forward with the stalled peace process, which is being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Ethiopia.

The meeting comes as leaders of IGAD member states prepare to hold a meeting on the South Sudan conflict.

Power-sharing arrangements, governance and leadership structure are among the contentious issues that are stalling progress in ongoing peace talks that began early last year after the young nation erupted in conflict in December 2013.

As part of his visit to Nairobi, Machar also plans to meet General Khamis Abdel-Latif, a South Sudanese government official who defected to the opposition movement few days ago.

Abdel-Latif was chief of the state-owned media agency South Sudan Television (SSTV) and has previously served as security advisor in the ministry of interior.

According to Dang, Machar has briefed opposition members and supporters on the recent Arusha road map agreement, which aims to reunify the two rival SPLM factions and is due back in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Tuesday.

Last week, president Salva Kiir and Machar signed an agreement in the Tanzanian city of Arusha as part of efforts to unify the ruling SPLM party that split in to three factions after a political dispute turned violent.

Tanzania’s ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party was mediating the peace process that has running parallel to the IGAD-mediated negotiations aimed at ending the crisis.

East African regional leaders are due to meet in Addis Ababa on Thursday to resume peace talks aimed at securing a lasting political settlement to the more than year-long conflict.

The violence has reignited tribal tensions across the young nation, with thousands killed and around 1.9 million people forced to flee their homes.

Meanwhile. South Sudan’s Lou Nuer community has held a meeting in Addis Ababa where they discussed on the current situation in the country and efforts to promote the unity among Nuers around the world.

The Nuer community has rejected the SPLM reunification pact signed between the rival SPLM factions.

Meeting organiser Koryoum Wang Chiok, who is an official within the rebel chairman’s office, said reunifying the party while president Kiir remains in power is unacceptable.

“If this reunification pact is to be implemented Kiir has first to step down,” he said, echoing the positions of rebel military officials on ground.

The Lou Nuer community in Ethiopia had hoped Machar and Kiir would reach an agreement during the IGAD leaders summit to be held in Addis Ababa.

Both rival leaders have been invited to the meeting where they are expected they face increased pressure to strike a peace deal.

(ST)

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  • 28 January 2015 06:10, by Chol A.

    Those who opposed reunification of SPLM party should form their party. Lou Nuer should not hide in Ethiopia and opposed this moved please think twice rather than your sheep brain. If you opposed something that bring us together and demanded what for long war then you will be finish indirectly by this war. few of Nuer in government and one in hideout from South Sudan are only one being call Nuer.

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    • 28 January 2015 13:01, by Mayom County Boy

      To: dears brothers who are members of sudantribune website or commentators, Mr Chol A.Uncle J.Ajongtar.Kur William. Snipper.Ayuiu Makuac Lam.let me prepare to beat my drum ,why Am saying like that ? because Lou Nuer are the first people who welcome the rebellion of Riek Machar , but now what i see Lou Nuer are ready to fight Riek Machar , look a mess what my fellows Nuer doing on this world ?

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      • 28 January 2015 16:26, by Ayuen deng

        Surely Lou Nuer youth should not be Riek Machar’s tool to gain his leadership seat during War and now, this Community will finished for nothing when they have Dr.Riek Gai,Dr. Marial Benjemin, Nyadak Pual in power and many more here in the state. Why should they die for Riek seat?? You just see after thousand deaths in Lou Nuer,he will sign peace if he is given a seat a gain and what will Lou gain?

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    • 28 January 2015 15:51, by Ayuen deng

      Kenyan Government should first know that CPA which was sign in Kenya was not a bar deal of drunkards but something which will remain in history of Kenya and South Sudan and i don’t really like the way President Uhuru handle this Riek rebellion,does he take it as if he is fighting for South Sudanese right or his own sit??????????? if not why is he treating him like a president??????

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    • 28 January 2015 16:16, by Frak Cho

      African Leaders are cause of African people. How can a sitting president honours a rebel leader?

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  • 28 January 2015 06:24, by Uncle J

    South Sudan Government is supposed to call for Kenyan government to suspend rebel activities in their country. How come Riek Machar is becoming more like the second vice president of Kenya? Kiir have to watch out traveling to Kenya any time because there is a feeling that Kenya is playing messy game around specially Uhuru is not neutral

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    • 28 January 2015 06:47, by Ajongtar

      What????? Kenyan Goverment must impose sunction on rebel activities???

      Look we as South Sudanese want Kiir and Step down or die, so that new faces can take up the Government. We want peace not war.. We did it and our mission is accomplish now we unity among us South Sudanese that will be with out Kiir or Riak Machar Period

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      • 28 January 2015 08:05, by Kur William

        Salva will not relinquish his mandate which have been given to him as president to lay the foundation of demcoracy in the country.Whatever its take Kiir will not step down by force,he himself will decide to hand over a power to anyone else he wish or he will be vote out in the peaceful election when necessary that is the border line.

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  • 28 January 2015 07:00, by Son of Ngundeng

    poor uncle J
    I think you are commenting in bar because the way you comment its not logic, Kenya and Uganda are playing a great role under the table of genocidal president called Kiir Useless. Why Kenyan president send his troops and give them an Uganda uniform in order to confuse the world and fight aganst Machar if they were having deal with Dr Machar?
    Try answer my question.

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    • 28 January 2015 08:45, by Snipper

      Dinka can not liberate the country and just hand it over to Nuers. This is unacceptable! ! Nuers should not waste time on wishful thinking that Kiir will step down. Who are Nuers after all for known liberator to step down for? They are only known in history of South sudan for helping Bashir to mine oil and displace Dinkas in 199os. An act which can not repeat itself in modern south sudan

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    • 28 January 2015 09:30, by Kur William

      Son of Ngundeng,
      Kenya is independent country if it want to involves in any war in East Africa it can go directly like what it did in Somalia’s war.No any head of State does that in the world to give his troops the uniform of another country in order go into the civil war secretly be wise!.

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    • 28 January 2015 11:37, by Uncle J

      You just don’t get the point because you are being possessed by Nuer mentality of understanding simple things a five year old dinka child can get straight.Too many times of Mr. Riek running to Kenya to hold his informal media press in Nairobi for briefing of rebel supporters is an indication that Kenya is taking side. Why can’t Mr. Riek go and hold media press in Uganda?

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  • 28 January 2015 11:24, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Lou Nuer, promised Riek Machar, to accept reunification. if he fail to press YES’then solution is EASY.LOU NUER said.
    what is a soluton? is to kill him.

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  • 28 January 2015 16:18, by Kim Deng

    When Nuer value is no longer adequate to hold the community together instead of self-interests, the community faces big challenges. In other words, putting nationalism above Nuer interest, Nuer interest faces the gravest crisis it has never encountered since 1800s. Neither condemnation nor blaming will change the course the rising-empire took.

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  • 28 January 2015 16:19, by Kim Deng

    Which means, the rising-Kingdom must not be deterred by words; rather, it must be engaged with strategies follow by actions.

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