Do not Panic, I won’t accept Machar’s return: Kiir assures the JCE
June 23rd 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, reportedly told the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) in a meeting held at his residence in Juba on Saturday afternoon not to panic about the looming return of Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon to South Sudan as a part of a possible peace implementation according to a South Sudan official.
The Jieng Council of Elders is a tribal group of Dinka veteran politicians and intellectuals in South Sudan advising President Kiir on issues regarding the country with big interest of the Dinka community.
“Do not panic about the looming return of Riek. I won’t accept it at whatever cost. Our position is very clear that Riek should wait for elections. When elections come, I will accept his return as any politician that have rights to compete for elections in this country,” Kiir reportedly said in the meeting.
Kiir went on to blame Machar for the experience of 2016 J1 clashes and said the rebel leader should instead be held accountable if there were to be justice in the East African region.
“If not, if he reject going to South Africa, the region should hold him accountable for what he did in 2016 that he wanted to kill me and caused deaths of South Sudanese in the making if there is any justice as claimed by the East African regional leaders,” he said.
Kiir and Machar fall out again after signing peace in 2015 in a deadly clashes which engulfed the Presidential Palace J1 in July 2016. Kiir initially blamed Machar for the clash but turned the blame to Paul Malong Awan, former SPLA chief of staff turned rebel leader after the two fall out in May 2017 following Malong’s dismissal from his top army job.