Machar will attend peace celebrations in Juba if Kiir override state emergency: SPLM-IO

President Kiir, SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar, walks inside the Presidential Palace in Juba on April 26 2016. (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 11th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – Prominent South Sudan opposition and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon will attend the peace celebration planned for late this month if President Salva Kiir lifts the state of emergency which has been in force since December 2013, a senior opposition official told the Nyamilepedia on Thursday.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 following fighting within the country’s Presidential Guards along ethnic lines resulting into an ethnic massacre against Nuer civilians in the capital Juba igniting protest from top Nuer generals in the army leading to civil war.

Days after the fighting begun in the capital Juba, President Salva Kiir declared a state of emergency in Upper Nile region where opposition forces loyal to Machar gained control of Bor, Malakal and Bentiu.

Kiir last month during a meeting with opposition groups in the Sudanese capital Khartoum invited Machar to attend a peace celebrations in the capital Juba to welcome the signing of the revitalized agreement signed in Ethiopia early that month.

Machar however conditioned Kiir that he first need to ensure that measures for confident-building including lifting of the state of emergency and the release of political detainees and Prisoners of War are taken.

In an exclusive interview with Nyamilepedia on Thursday, SPLM-IO representative to Sudan, Gatbang Riir said Machar will attend the celebrations if the President lift the state of emergency and release detainees and prisoners of war before Machar could step foot to Juba.

“Machar will definitely attend if the regime has lifted the six years state of emergency, freedom of the political abductees and PoWs,” he told the Nyamilepedia.

Currently, SPLM-IO governor of Kapoeta, SPLM-IO member of National Committee, Aggrey Iddri and Machar’s own spokesman as well as a pro-opposition activist Dong Samuel Luak are under detention of the government.

All of them were deported from Kenya by government security operatives who reportedly convinced Kenyan counterparts to hand them over to them claiming they were inciting violence following the July 2016 fighting at South Sudan Presidential Palace.