August 27, 2016 (JUBA)- South Sudan president Salva Kiir warned on Saturday that any attempt to impose a return to power his main political rival and the leader of armed opposition, Riek Machar, will prolong the war and increases the suffering of the people.
- Riek Machar, left, first vice president of the Republic of South Sudan, and Salva Kiir, the president, at the first meeting of the new transitional coalition government in Juba, South Sudan, in April, 2016 (Jason Patinkin/AP)
Machar was replaced as the country’s first vice president when he left the capital, Juba days after his forces clashed with those loyal to Kiir outside the presidential palace.
“What is that they want in South Sudan? If it is peace and end of sufferings, they should wait and see whether comrade Taban and I will do. We know our people are suffering and for this comrade Taban and his group have agreed in principle with me to cooperate to implement this agreement”, he said.
The South Sudanese leader made these remarks after receiving a security briefing from is advisor on security affairs, Tut Kew Gatluak and the security team comprising of the director general for external bureau at the national security service, Thomas Duoth.
Kiir, according to a close aide, opposed diplomatic engagements pushing him to reinstate Machar as first vice president and indicate readiness to work with the latter.
“If they are for peace, they should work with us and the transitional government of national unity to implement this agreement. We do not want more time to be wasted again. If it is because of war is reason they want to send more troops, let them give us and see what we will do and let them talk to Riek to denounce violence and wait elections," stressed the South Sudanese leader.
When time comes for election, nobody will stop him to contest for whichever position he wants but he should not continue to agitate for war to prolong suffering because he is not part of this government”, he added.