Home | News    Monday 25 January 2016

South Sudan’s Machar heads to Uganda to ask help from Museveni


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 24, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – The chairman and commander-in-chief of the armed opposition group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/A-IO), Riek Machar, has left for the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to meet president Yoweri Museveni.

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South Sudanese opposition leader, Dr. Riek Machar meets Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni in Khartoum, Sept. 16, 2015 (ST Photo)

The opposition leader left the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to Kampala on Sunday night to meet the Ugandan president to try to get help from Museveni with regard to the outstanding issues in the implementation of the South Sudan peace agreement.

At a short-lived press conference he conducted on Sunday evening at his residential area in Addis Ababa, the First Vice President designate, according to a peace agreement he signed with the South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, said he will be trying to persuade Uganda to play a key role in convincing President Kiir reverse the order of expanding South Sudan states from 10 to 28.

According to Machar, Uganda which had been part of the conflict since day one has lately been playing an important role for the two conflicting parties to reach agreements.

Machar said he believed Kampala will play a crucial role with regard to the existing misunderstanding on the 28 states, a decree which has become an emerging challenge threatening the implementation of the peace deal.

Machar’s visit to Uganda is his first since conflict in the young east African nation erupted in mid-December 2013. The opposition leader gave the press briefing shortly after his arrival from his headquarters in Pagak, where he had consultations with senior members of the advance team who returned from Juba.

During a day and half consultations, SPLM-IO officials passed a resolution to stick to the ten states.

“We have decided to stick to the terms of the agreement and implement it that way,” Nyarji Jermlili Roman, deputy spokesman for Machar told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

Roman said the implementation should take place based on the ten states and any other proposals regarding the expansion of states should be discussed during the interim period.

The two South Sudanese signatory parties on Saturday pointed fingers at each other of having intentions to obstruct the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August 2015 to end 21 months old conflict in the young east African nation.

However Machar said the issues of 28 states is the only factor hindering implementation and holding back the amendment of the constitution. He said a transitional government of national unity cannot be formed while there is no constitution, further arguing the constitution is the anchor of the agreement and the government.

Machar added that amendment of the constitution should first be finalized then to be passed by the interim national assembly thereby to form a transitional government of national unity.

According to Roman the advance team is facing challenges in Juba with regard to the amendment of the constitution but is heeding to find a way forward to the deadlock.

He said he is optimistic a fruitful outcome will emerge from Kampala but he added that if failed the opposition group will consider addressing the issues to partners of the agreement - the international community, the Troika and the African Union.

According to Machar lasting peace won’t be easily achieved in South Sudan if the peace implementation process went according to the 28 states.

The conflict in South Sudan erupted in mid-December 2013 between forces loyal to Kiir and those backing former vice president Machar. The violence which quickly spread across the country has reportedly killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.


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  • 25 January 2016 00:35, by lino

    Another point or benefit to South Sudanese of why Juba introduce 28 States at this point in time, or is just wasting money and time then people will start paying for it soon???!

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    • 25 January 2016 01:00, by Developer

      Dr.Reik Macher needs to be very carefully with President Museveni of Uganda. M7 is a mafia of Africa, can’t be trusted in big people life. Dr. Garag has died when he was coming from Kampala. It’s still too early for Dr. Reik Macher to pays a visit to President Museveni. Precaution measures needed to be taken.

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      • 25 January 2016 06:06, by Mi diit

        If Ugandan government has strategic thinkers, it is time for President Museveni to be advised to change his strategy and leave Salva Kiir alone to carry his own cross, otherwise, Kiir wants to drag Uganda into his own failure with his Dinka council of intellectual visionless elders.

        Museveni should switch side to Dr. Machar for long term cooperation.

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        • 25 January 2016 06:26, by Force 1


          Good luck if you find M7; the man who actually sent his troops to kick you out of South Sudan as your best mediator to take orders from riek and use them against president Kiir!

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    • 25 January 2016 07:17, by Akuma

      Dissident Riek should forget about reversal of 28 states as it has been popular demand of people of South Sudan otherwise reversing it will cost his (Riek) life.

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  • 25 January 2016 01:04, by Francis

    Guys, don’t just waste your time here 28 States considerably emerged as a good ideas from 21 States tabled by Mr. Riek.

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  • 25 January 2016 01:45, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    It is simple implement the signed agreement the way it stands. No games should be entertained. Whoever becomes a block in its implementation should be held responsible for the calamity occurring in South Sudan.

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    • 25 January 2016 15:02, by Hardlinner

      riek either take it the way it is or f**koff. 28 states hv nothing to do with agreement. if nuer don’t like their states,S.Sudanese can ask kiir to scrap their states. i’m happy with my state and so does the 95% other states. nuer fools will hv to go head with their rebellion to fulfil riek unchievable dreams. all i’m asking kiir is to buy more attack helicopters. riek only listened on his ass.

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  • 25 January 2016 05:34, by Gabriel Ajak

    We don’t understand from the opposition of Nuer, what is actually wrong with 28 state? Please be specific.

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    • 25 January 2016 06:11, by Mi diit

      Gabriel Ajak,

      The problem with you Dinka is that credibility of a leader is not important to you and not in Dinka vocabulary.

      President Kiir signed agreement on 10 states why?

      Kiir rejected creation of 21 states during negotiations in Addis Ababa, why?

      Kiir did not mention his 28 states proposal in Addis, why?

      Kiir then surprised the nation with 28 states later, why?

      He has lost credibility!

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      • 25 January 2016 06:14, by Mi diit

        And besides, Kiir has grabbed big lands from other communities and gave them to his Dinka communities in the neighborhood. Do you think this will not bring a new war?

        Do you want another war?

        I know you didn’t feel that there was war because it did not reach your backyards. But be warned that the next one may reach you dear.

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        • 25 January 2016 06:42, by Frak Cho

          Mi dit, please take it cool!

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        • 25 January 2016 07:05, by Force 1

          Weren’t you the one threatening people with war from the beginning? Why are you worrying about the war? If don’t want want war; you are not going to have it; but if you want war; you going to have enough of it!

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      • 25 January 2016 06:21, by Force 1


        When president Kiir sign the agreement; did anything called "reservation" crossed your mind? And If you did; what did the word "reservation" means as far as signing of agreement was concern? Define the word reservation and see what it mean!

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        • 25 January 2016 07:13, by Bol Bol Bol

          ***28 State decree by Kiir is not in the interest of the majority of South Sudanese as per peace agreement as portrayed by the group of gangs calling themselves JCE.

          Beside, 28 State issue is not among the meaningless reservation drafted by the same groups.

          Let peace be implement as signed just to end the war and suffering of our people.

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        • 25 January 2016 07:34, by Mi diit

          Force 1,

          And why did you foolish president Kiir of a so-called sovereign country sign the agreement with reservations?

          Kiir should have refused to sign it at all to save his credibility? Committing to something by signing it and then complain about it later in so-called reservation is foolishness and lack of trust.

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      • 25 January 2016 09:41, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

        Mi diit,
        Kiir created 28 states as a win-win situation b’se the agreement gave many rewards to rebels, therefore to avoid the agreement being disowned and rejected by the public, it was better to give a smile to those who believe in peaceful resolutions than allowing room for further rebellions apart from that of Riak Machar.

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        • 25 January 2016 09:53, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

          Mi diit,
          If u believe in Riek’s ways of hostile approach to his political circumstances, then whatever u say bears no meaning to ur opponents. There is no possibility for reversal of 28 states though it means what u mean. How does the creation of 28 states violate ur agreement? Remeber it’s a compromised one not comprehensive agreement!

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      • 25 January 2016 15:09, by Hardlinner

        mi diit, it don’t matter as longer that it goes against riek. in fact if kiir were dinka president, he won’t have made this far. but since he dealing with evil of all named riek, we can compromise with his action.nuer would have to come up with new leader, otherwise we r happy killing damn morons that back riek through rebellion.

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  • 25 January 2016 10:39, by Eastern

    Let Dr Riek Machar be careful of the journey from Entebbe to Masindi state lodge where the planned meeting will take place with the self-appointed president of presidents in the region! Wish you fruitful discussions. Museveni is likely to tell Dr Riek to agree to formation of government of national unity without preconditions - this view must not be imposed on Dr Riek!!

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