IGAD foreign ministers discuss peace with Machar
May 15th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan ‘s former first vice president and SPLM-IO leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has today met a high-level delegation composed of foreign ministers of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Last week, a high-ranking opposition official told Nyamilpedia that the IGAD had informed them that they will be travelling to Pretoria to meet their boss.
A senior opposition official told the Nyamilepedia today on the condition of anonymity that the IGAD foriegn ministers delagation met Machar today at his residence in Pretoria.
“The delegation met Machar today at his residence in Pretoria,” he said.
The high-ranking official said the foreign ministers discussed peace with Machar specially the ongoing High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF).
“They discussed peace with him and focused on the High-Level Revitalization Forum,” he said.
The official added that Machar, a prominent political figure in the South Sudanese politics, is committed to bringing peace to the country pointing out that Machar had expressed his ready to work for the sack of peace in case he is to be released for peace to exist.
Machar has been under house arrest since October 2016 after the regional bloc reportedly asked South African authorities to detain him from leaving the country reportedly in hope to prevent him from taking part in the political crisis in South Sudan in order to stop the war but in contrary, the war has been raging on since then.
In March, the IGAD decided to release him but the planned release has some demands attached to it which the opposition said do not make sense.
The IGAD said Machar must first renounce violence in order to be relocated to one of the country outside the region.
For their part, the opposition said their group under Machar has already signed a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement with the government; something they said shows their group is not interested in violent meant of solving the current crisis.
South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after forces loyal to the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his then Governor of Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State Gen. Paul Malong Awan went door-to-door in the capital Juba killing civilians belonging to the Nuer ethnic group sparking a nation-wide protests from top army generals from the Nuer leading to a civil war.
A peace agreement signed in August 2015 by President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and negotiated under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) in presence of Troika and other international observers collapsed in July 2016 following fighting at the presidential palace in Juba “J1” reportedly after President Kiir ordered a failed attempt to arrest the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar.
Late last year, the IGAD decided to revive the peace agreement and had initiated a peace revival mechanism known as the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) to bring back to life the 2015 peace agreement. Previous rounds of the HLRF has been unsuccessful and the IGAD said it expect the warring parties to negotiate on the last round of talks on 17th of May.
Representatives of the negotiating parties are currently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after the mediation invited them for consultations.