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S. Sudan opposition leader welcomes Kiir-Machar talks

June 25, 2018 (WAU) – The leader of the People’s Liberal Party (PLP), a South Sudanese political entity, has welcomed the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s decision to host South Sudan rival leaders.

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PLP chairman Peter Mayen Majongdit speaks in a fourm held in Accra on 12 March 2018 (Photo Majongdit’s Facebook page)

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his main political rival, Riek Machar are in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum for talks aimed at ending the civil war that has displaced more than 2 million people.

The PLP, in a statement issued Monday, commended the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the other international partners involved in the peace process for their continued efforts to end the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

“We the PLP are encouraged by the recent decisions and announcements resulting from the IGAD Heads of States Summit in Addis Ababa, engaging South Sudan’s primary drivers of violence personified in Kiir from one hand side, and Machar from the other, to sign the revitalized agreement based on IGAD’s bridging proposal,” partly reads the opposition entity’s statement.

It added, “We also welcome the targeted punitive measures endorsed by the IGAD Council of Ministers during its 62nd extra-ordinary session”.

The conflict in South Sudan, now in its fifth year, has killed thousands.

According to the PLP, any approach to achieve peace in South Sudan must be non-violent and opposing views must be tolerated.

“We will work with our partners in Sudan and elsewhere to promote the ideals that bring us together and make us more secure – championing trade, diplomacy as well as military co-operation to prevent violent conflict,” the statement further stressed.

Direct talks between South Sudan’s government and the main opposition group led by Machar begun Sunday in Khartoum amid large diplomatic and regional presence.

Ahead of the talks on Sunday, however, President Kiir and Machar held a face-to-face meeting under the auspices of President Bashir in the presence of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. But the details of the meeting haven’t been disclosed.

In his remarks before the opening session, Museveni said he came to Khartoum to support the efforts to reach a peaceful settlement for South Sudan’s crises, expressing hope that the talks manage to achieve positive results.

He added that the face-to-face the meeting between Machar and Kiir has reached some agreements that will allow people of South Sudan to enjoy peace.

Bashir, on his part, vowed to exert every possible effort to assist South Sudan’s conflicting parties to reach a settlement to end the civil war in the country.