IGAD to hold another summit over Machar relocation plan
May 15th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will hold another summit to discuss plan to relocate Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Chairman of the SPLM-IO, from his current location in South Africa to Djibouti, sources told the Nyamilepedia on Tuesday.
The plan to hold another meeting was reportedly suggested by the IGAD foreign ministers who met Machar today in Pretoria and could not agree with the prominent South Sudanese opposition leader over the country of the planned relocation.
One source told the Nyamilepedia from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa that the IGAD ministers concluded their meeting with Machar on the note that they will conduct another summit in order to discuss results of their meeting with him including the country of relocation.
“The meeting was then ended on the positive note that they [IGAD foreign ministers] will go and hold another summit to revise their communique,” the source told the Nyamilepedia on the condition of anonymity.
The source said the meeting of the IGAD delegation with the SPLM-IO Chairman Dr. Riek Machar failed because the IGAD ministers came as messengers of the current South Sudanese president Salva Kiir Mayardiit.
“Their meeting with our chairman failed because the IGAD delegates came as a messengers of President Kiir and have nothing to produce,” the source said.
This afternoon, Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, a member of the SPLM-IO Political Bureau and a member of the group’s negotiating team in Addis Ababa, told the Nyamilepedia that the IGAD meeting with Machar had failed due to IGAD’s insistence to relocate Machar to Djibouti which he said the later regarded as a change of ‘prison cell’.
“The meeting between our Chairman and the IGAD Council of Ministers did not go well,” Gatkuoth said pointing out that “the council is still insisting on relocation [of Machar] to Djibouti instead of release,”
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 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 (neighboring countries). 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.