Home | News    Wednesday 25 December 2019

Machar urges S. Sudanese citizens to reconcile and forgive

December 24, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudan’s armed opposition leader Riek Machar has urged citizens to seize the celebrative season to cement the new page of reconciliation and forgiveness that started with the signing of the September 2018 peace accord.

SPLM-Io leader Riek Machar speaks at the peace celebration day in Juba on 31 October 2018 (AP Photo).

Machar, in a Christmas and New Year message extended to Sudan Tribune, said he is optimistic the suffering of the people would end.

“By embarking on this process, we can achieve healing and overcome the pains and the suffering caused by the tragic war as it is evident that the fabric of our society has been destroyed and our communities are divided along ethnic and fault lines,” he wrote.

The opposition leader said he looks forward to next year’s meeting to be convened in the first week of January by the regional bloc (IGAD) special envoy on the number of states and its boundaries.

“On behalf of the SPLM/SPLA (IO), I wish the people of South Sudan a merry Christmas and Happy New Year wherever they are in our country, in town, rural areas, protection of civilian camps (PoCs) or in the refugee camps. I wish them all happy festivities,” stated Machar.

South Sudan’s presidential adviser on security affairs, Tut Kew Gatluak announced on Monday that Kiir and Machar would resume discussion on peace implementation after the Christmas holidays.

On December 17, Kiir announced that he had reached an agreement with Machar, according to which a transitional government would be formed before the pre-agreed 100-day deadline expires, regardless of the outstanding issues.

President Kiir and the country’s main opposition leader has in November agreed to delay key benchmarks in the revitalized peace agreement by additional 100 days.

The delay in forming a transitional national unity government on November 12, 2019 came after Machar’s group raised concerns that the country’s security arrangements are still incomplete.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter denied.

South Sudan, which separated from Sudan through a referendum in 2011, has been suffering from a civil war since late 2013, which has since taken a tribal dimension.

In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.