People were not allowed to express happiness during 2015 peace deal: Machar

South Sudan First Vice President designate Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon waves to South Sudanese as he arrives at the venue of peace celebration in Juba on Wednesday, October 31st 2018 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

South Sudan First Vice President designate Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon waves to South Sudanese as he arrives at the venue of peace celebration in Juba on Wednesday, October 31st 2018 (Photo credit: File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

December 16th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – Prominent South Sudan opposition and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon who is also the country First Vice President designate according to the revitalized peace deal signed in September said on Saturday that the people of South Sudan were not given the chance to express their happiness or apparently accept the 2015 peace deal.

Machar, who is expected to take up his previous position as the country’s First Vice President next year, made the remarks in a statement issued on December 15th to mark the fifth anniversary of the Juba Massacre.

Fighting break out in July 2016 at the Presidential Palace in the country’s capital Juba between guards loyal to President Kiir and then First Vice President Machar. The two had signed a peace deal a year early in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The fighting marked the collapse and the end of the peace deal dubbed as Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS). President Kiir who repeatedly criticized the agreement said the peace was imposed and was not morally accepted by the people of South Sudan.

For his part, Machar has been saying the opposite maintaining that the agreement could achieve a permanent and just peace for the people of South Sudan if implemented by the signatories in letter and spirit.

However, in apparent move to draw near Kiir’s critical stance against 2015 peace deal, Machar said on Saturday that the people of South Sudan were not given the chance to express what he called happiness about the 2015 agreement compared to the recent peace deal signed in September.

“In 2015-2016 you were not given an opportunity to express your joy about the agreement,” Machar said. “The R-ARCSS belongs to you the people and you demonstrated this by the turn out during the celebration of the 31″October 2018 organized by President Salva Kiir and the TGONU.”

He said the latest peace deal will be implemented because of its moral acceptance by the people of South Sudan compared to the 2015 peace agreement.

“It is apparent that R-ARCSS will be implemented because you the people of South Sudan have embraced it,” he added.