Dr. Machar Welcomed With Open Arms at the State Palace in Djibouti,
Updated at 12:18Pm, July 14th, 2014(Pacific Time).
July 13, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Dr. Riek Machar Teny, South Sudan’s former vice president, the chairman and the commander in Chief of SPLA [in opposition] forces was warmly received by the Djibouti President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, at the State Palace.
Dr. Machar with his delegate that include Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing, Anjelina Teny, among other elites, arrived in Djibouti on Saturday from Addis Ababa to consult with the leadership of the North African State, after “successful and “fruitful” missions to South and East Africa.
“Comrade Dr Riek Machar, chairman, has arrived in Djibouti on Saturday for consultations with the Djiboutian president, HE Ismail Omar Guelleh. The visit is in the interest of the IGAD-mediated peace talks in Addis Ababa,” Machar’s spokespersom, James Gatdet Dak revealed.
Machar met President Ismail Omar at the Palace today, on Sunday, and was given a green light to visit one of Djibouti’s main facilities, River Port.
According to James Gatdet Dak, Machar and Djibouit leadership discussed bilateral relations to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries. Machar and president Omar’s leadership discussed plans to build a pipeline to Djibouti through Ethiopia to export the South Sudanese oil.
“They also discussed South Sudan’s plan to build a pipeline to Djibouti via Ethiopia and use its river port for exports of the crude oil from Upper Nile state, among others”Dak said.
After Djibouti, Machar is expected to visit other countries that are taking part in IGAD-led mediation in Addis Ababa, with exception of Uganda. The opposition sees Museveni led government as an enemy for supporting Salva Kiir’s faction in an internal conflict.
Machar stresses his willingness and plans to extend his visits to China, USA and European countries.
In one of his latest interviews, Machar revealed that his deputy, Alfred Lado Gore is preparing to lead a delegation to USA, after which he would also visit the world’s most powerful nation.
The main mission for the regional and continental tours, according to James Gatdet Dak, is to enlighten the regions and the continents on what transpired in the world’s youngest nation in December last year, and how the armed opposition is planning to resolve it.
“The meeting also emphasized on the importance of reaching a political solution to the crisis in South Sudan so that the two countries can promote economic ties in a peaceful environment”
Machar and other senior elites that include Rebecca Nyandeng, the founding mother of the ruling party, SPLM, were accused by their former boss, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, of plotting a coup in an attempt to overthrow his government. The politicians have constantly accused the incumbent president of resisting democratic transformation and popular calls such as federalism in the country.
Majority of the politburo members united against Salva Kiir’s leadership last year to challenge what many politicians refer as “dictatorial tendencies”.
Since the beginning of 2013, the president issued several decrees that include removing of 171 generals in the army, police and wildlife services. The generals, majority of which have now taken arms against the government, were put on reserved list without retirement plans or benefits.
Critics believe that many politicians, army generals and the entire cabinet had to be brought down for having stood with either Dr. Machar or Dr. John Garang in the past or for leaning toward Machar’s political visions to transform economic and political hemispheres in the country.
As Deng Alor, the former Minister of cabinet affairs, said in a historic Press conference in December, the politicians knew that it “was just a matter of time” before president Salva Kiir turns against them.
Nearly all the politicians, who participated in the press conference, were arrested and accused of staging a coup in December, a call that has flattered in less than 5 months.
The politicians were later released due to international pressure and lack of substantial evidence. Majority of the politicians have joined Dr. Machar, although they hardly participated in the armed struggle.
Ten other politicians are weighing their options of being neutral or joining either side of the conflict as Machar continues to clear up any single doubt on whether the politicians staged a military coup.
South Sudan government criticizes the tour, especially the warm welcomes and respects attributed to Dr. Riek Machar by the IGAD members states, despite the image that Juba wants to impose on his leadership.
Ateny Wek Ateny, Salva Kiir’s spokesperson and Dr. Marial Benjamen, South Sudan’s foreign affairs minister have sharply criticized Kenya and Sudan for red-carpeting Dr. Machar, claiming that such honor is only deserved by the president.
Sudan has been criticized for allowing Machar’s delegation to hold press conferences within their capital cities as they prepare ways for Machar’s visit.
Neither of the IGAD members states has officially responded to Juba’s criticism, however, Machar reportedly continues to have successful missions in the regions.