Machar says he is ‘ready’ to attend peace celebrations in Juba

South Sudan opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar arriving at Juba International Airport on April 26th 2016 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 24th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s First Vice President designate and prominent opposition and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon said on Tuesday that he and his team are ready to attend a peace celebration due for 30th this month.

Machar had conditioned President Salva Kiir to first lift the state of emergency and release prisoners of war and political detainees for him and his team to attend the celebrations planned in the nation’s capital Juba by the South Sudan government.

Kiir has not release the detainees nor lifted the state of emergency but Machar’s abrupt change of mind was as part of his believe that “Restoring security and stability in the country faces great challenges but needs a strong political will.”

While addressing the media after meeting the pre-transitional committee, the former First Vice President said he and his team are ready for the October 30th peace celebrations due in the capital Juba which will also be attended by regional leaders including Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.

“Generally, we are ready for the [peace] celebrations in Juba,” Machar said referring to the government organized celebrations.

Machar thanked the pre-transitional committee led by South Sudan Presidential Advisor Tutkew Gatluak for creating what he calls “new climate” for the revitalized agreement signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa pointing to the level of the commitment by the parties since the signing of the agreement on September 12th.

“We have conducted a very positive meeting and I thank the committee because the committee has created a new climate for the implementation of peace agreement.  As we signed on the 12th of September, our commitment to this agreement is 100%,” Machar who was flanked by Tutkew alongside other government and opposition officials said.

Machar expressed his happiness for the committee for starting its work.

“We are very happy that the committee has started its activities in Khartoum,” he added.

For his part, South Sudan Presidential Advisor and the head of the pre-transitional committee Tutkew Gatluak said they had a fruitful meeting with the opposition leader and assured him for their commitment to the peace agreement.

“We have meet with Dr. Riek Machar, the leader of the SPLM-IO and we have assured to him on behalf of the committee the seriousness for the implementation of the agreement and he assured us his readiness for the agreement and thank God that all the citizens have heard the statement by Dr. Riek talking giving peace a chance and its place,” he said.