Kiir says will not accept two armies and Machar’s return

President Kiir in Bilpam, Juba, South Sudan. 10 May 2018 (Photo credit. PPU)

President Kiir in Bilpam, Juba, South Sudan. 10 May 2018 (Photo credit. PPU)

May 18th 2018 (Nyamilpedia) – South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit said on Thursday that he would not accept two armies in the country and said beside this he will not accept the return of the country’s former First Vice President Riek Machar.

Kiir said, while speaking to a group of Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders who visited him at his official residence in Juba yesterday, he has instructed his delegation about what to and that he do not want them to ask him about two armies and the return of Machar

“I told them to go, you have my permission to go and negotiate but don’t even consider asking me about the two armies, the dissolution of the security sector and the coming of Riek in an official capacity as the vice president,” Kiir said.

Kiir stressed that Machar is a South Sudanese citizen and he is welcomed in case of return as a private citizen.

“If he wants to come as a private citizen, he is welcome. He is a South Sudanese and nobody has the issue with that.

Kiir said he will not be able to accommodate the former first vice president because the position is already occupied by the incumbent first vice president Taban Deng Gai.

“But in the government, Taban is already here, where we will take him,” Kiir wondered

Taban who has been the chief negotiator for Machar’s SPLM-IO since 2014 defected to Kiir from Machar in July 2016 and and was appointed the first vice president by Kiir in hope to fracture the opposition.

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 which commence on Thursday.

The IGAD has given the negotiating parties May 21st as the ultimatum to sign a peace deal. But it is not clear what would be the consequences in case the warring parties do not meet the dateline.

 

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