Machar Speaks On Restructuring South Sudan in 60 Days
June 12, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Dr. Machar, while speaking to the BBC Africa’s Veronique Edwards, reiterates that the regional block, IGAD, gave the parties 60 days in which an interim government would be formed.
Dr. Machar reaffirms his commitment to negotiate within the time frame given by the IGAD summit, as long as the other side commits to the same process.
Machar, however, believes that the onus lies on the mediators to “midwife an agreement within 60 days”.
When asked of what would make him happy to be part of a coalition government of national unity, Machar, on an important note, responded that he wants the Juba massacre to be addressed.
“I want the Juba massacre to be addressed. There was a massacre that took place in Juba, administered by president Salva Kiir, on a pretext that a coup was attempted by me and some of my colleagues whom he arrested. To me this is a very important issues, because this is going to lay bases for reconciliation of the whole nation.” Dr. Machar said.
Restructuring South Sudan
Machar believes that the whole nation has to be federally restructured in all branches of government.
“We believe that the nation needs to be restructured and for it to be restructured, a federal system of governance must be instituted” Machar assures.
“This will restructure the state; the security sector will be restructured; judicial sector, legislature will be restructured, all the branches of government”.Machar remarks.
“And then we will have a state, which will accommodate our diversity, a state which will be democratic, a state which will be participatory; a state which will not be dominated by one group. A state that all of us will love and will be proud of” Machar reiterates.
Forming a government With Salva Kiir
When asked whether he would form a government with Salva Kiir after all the animosity and bloodletting. He responded that we should not put the cart before the horse, instead the parties should focus on restructuring the country first.
“Let’s not put the cart before the horse, let’s get an agreement that addresses the root causes, let’s structure the state, a system of governance that everybody would identify with. Once we get it, it is the material which would be the interim government”
Withdrawal of Ugandan Army, UPDF
Although Machar believes that he will commit to cease fire agreements, Machar warns of dangers ahead.
“We have recommitted to the cessation of hostilities, but there are problems. President Museveni is refusing to withdraw his troops and I call on IGAD to ensure that the Ugandan forces are withdrawn from the land of South Sudan, so that the cease fire can hold.”Machar warns.
Machar added that he has called on Salva Kiir and IGAD to facilitate the withdrawal of the Sudanese rebels, who are still fighting his forces in Mayo county of Upper Nile state, however, Machar, concludes that neither Salva Kiir nor Museveni has control over these rebel forces. A statement to infer that there is no guarantee on the withdrawal of foreign forces, which in turn violates the Cease fire Agreement.
Machar also clarifies that his forces that are resisting the “dictatorial regime” are all South Sudanese, without foreign forces helping them. Despite, the forces fighting with light weapons have captured and recaptured majors town and scored massively against the well equipped allied foreign troops.
“There are no people, who are assisting me in resisting. Actually, I’m resisting a dictatorial regime that is killing citizens, targeting them on ethnic bases. I don’t see any reason why Ugandan forces, Sudanese rebels abandoning their own cause, now come to fight on the soil of South Sudan. I don’t see any reason they are there.” Machar continues.
Museveni: There was no coup in Juba
Machar congratulates president Museveni for admitting in front of the summit that there was no coup in Juba. Museveni boldly admits, at the silence of Salva Kiir, that there was only a fight in the army but not a coup.
The presidential guards have fought within the same battalion for the second time in March. According to government sources, the heavy fighting among the president guards, in March, was all because of salary.
Independent sources and critics, however, report an attempt assassinations on army generals who refused to take up deployments in the troubled regions of Upper Nile and Jonglei states.
Fighting, within the loyal forces, has been reported in Malakal, Bor and recently in Lake state. All are blamed on delayed monthly salaries and tribal grouping of the army. Ironically, however, some deserters, who are reportedly impatience to wait salaries, join Machar’s SPLA who fight without expecting salary in return.
This is not the first time president Museveni directly attack his trouble counterparts like Salva Kiir Mayardiit. In March, Museveni was quoted saying that he would hang himself or resign from power if his people had to be protected by the UN like in South Sudan.
Although the opposition and critique denounce the statement, government officials and supporters shy from over reacting to the remarks, instead, some try to convince the masses that it would be worked out politically. Juba believes that their bilateral relations are more important than the belittling remarks on the sovereign Republic of South Sudan.
Machar believes that the talks that he held with Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa, although dominated by Museveni, were honest and factual.
Machar regrets the suffering of the people, whom he loves the most, however, he believes that he would return to bush should Juba violates the agreement.
Machar reiterate that he is the “underdog” resisting the two governments and four rebels groups, which are violating human rights, mostly, in the Greater Upper Nile state. However, Machar has no other option, despite that some of his senior colleagues, whom he recently advocate to release might return to Juba to take up their positions within Salva Kiir government.