South Sudan: Salva Kiir To Meet Machar in Addis Ababa
June 02, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Although the troubled South Sudanese government may look to the West or East for a political solution to the current conflict, the allied governments of Juba and Kampala are mindful that an optimal solution lies from within the country. Part of that solution lies with Dr. Machar, the leader of the armed opposition.
Despite that the allied forces of Museveni and Salva Kiir have battled Machar’s forces for months, the two leaders are committing to a political dialogue with Dr. Machar.
Sources from Nairobi, Kenya, believes that the two counterparts flew to Kenya on Thursday to meet Dr. Machar although the infamous meeting was called off on Wednesday. It is not clear if the two leaders were received by the Kenyan government officials, however, the private meeting was to coincide with Machar’s meetings in the Kenyan capital. Machar left Nairobi for Addis Ababa on Sunday.
During his 6 days visit, Machar met Gen. Lazaro Sumbeiyo, the Kenyan envoy to Addis Ababa mediations. The SPLM [in opposition] leadership held meetings with Kenyan government officials and also with various South Sudanese groups.
Machar’s Nairobi visit got a lot of attentions from within South Sudan and across the region. While Juba tries to eavesdrop Machar’s meetings, Uganda’s government officials threaten that Machar has to visit their capital, Kampala.
The country’s minister for International Cooperation, Henry Okello Oryem, was quoted threatening that Machar will lose and “shall be viewed as a rebel forever” if he continues to ignore his country.
“Let him to Khartoum and ignore us; we shall view him as rebel forever and he is the one going to lose,” said Oryem.
The government of Juba criticized Machar’s tours, especially to Khartoum, as an attempt to consolidate military might to overthrow Salva Kiir’s government.
Kuol Manyang, the defense minister, headed to Kampala as the minister of foreign affairs went to Moscow. The twin missions lobbied to shield Juba from a possible collapse.
Russia, which is battling US sanctions has been vocal on any sanctions to any country. In regards to South Sudan, Moscow believes that sanctions may compromise peace talks.
After Marial Benjamin, the Foreign Affair minister, visited Moscow, Juba has extended their warm hands to invite Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the Russian president. It is not clear how Moscow, which is settling its disputes with Ukraine, would respond to Juba.
Sources from Juba believe that Salva Kiir will travel to meet Machar in Addis Ababa for another face to face meeting, despite the difficulties Juba incurred during the previous meeting between the two leaders. The two leaders are expected to meet next Monday, June 9th, in Addis Ababa.
The Kenyan government denied Juba and Kampala the chance to meet Machar on their soil, claiming that such a parallel talk would compromise their position in Addis Ababa. They further alleged that their efforts would affect the eminent efforts deployed by the regional bloc, IGAD.
Machar is set to travel to Khartoum, however, it’s not clear if he would meet Salva Kiir before he proceeds. Machar plans to visit Djibouti and Somalia after Khartoum, Sudan.