Kiir still undecided over face-to-face meeting with Machar
June 15th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, is still to decide whether he will travel to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on June 20th for the planned face-to-face meeting between him and prominent opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed sent out invitations to the South Sudanese leaders, President Salva Kiir and former First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar to attend to Ethiopia for a face-to-face meeting between the two.
The Press Secretary in the Office of the President Ateny Wek Ateny told the Eye Radio on Thursday that the President is yet to decide to travelling to Ethiopia for the high-level meeting with his arch-rival Dr. Riek Machar after receiving the invitation.
“The Office of the president has received the invitation. The decision has not yet been made by the government of the Republic of South Sudan as to whether the president will be attending or not on that date,” Ateny told the Eye Radio.
Ateny pointed out that the decision for the president to travel to Addis Ababa and to endorse the meeting with the opposition leader is not something personal but rather a collective and would be for the government as whole to decide.
“This is not an individual decision but it will be collectively made as government is collectively responsible and therefore it will be a collective decision.”
The Opposition SPLM-IO said in a statement extended to the Nyamilepedia on Tuesday by the group’s Chairman of National Committee for Information and Public Relations Mabior Garang de’Mabior said they welcomes the request by the Ethiopian government for the Presence of their Chairman in the Ethiopian capital for a face-to-face meeting with President Kiir.
“The leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) acknowledges receipt of the invitation letter sent by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, requesting the presence of the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO), Dr. Riek Machar Teny-dhuorangun, for IGAD led face-to-face talks with President Salva Kiir on the 20th of June, 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Movement welcomes this invitation and salutes the courage of IGAD for reaching this prudent and timely decision, it will go a long way in building confidence in the peace process,” Mabior said in the statement.
The SPLM-IO however said they view the high-level meeting as a way to boost the inclusivity of the peace process but does not perceive it as the end of the conflict.