Senior opposition official confirms Machar will travel to Juba in May

SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar, left, and his wife, Angelina Teny, right, arrives in Juba for a government-sponsored peace celebration in October 2018 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

February 8th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A senior SPLM-IO official confirmed on Friday that prominent opposition leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, will travel in May to Juba to form a government with President Salva Kiir as per a 2018 peace deal.

This came after the UN envoy and head of UN mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, told a news conference last week at the UN in New York that Machar told him he will go to Juba in May.

Shearer said Machar had assured him that he will be in Juba by the end of May even if some important provisions of the peace agreement are not implemented.

Speaking to the Nyamilepedia on Friday, Duer Tut Duer, former SPLM-IO governor of Sobat state and senior member of the main armed opposition group,  said Machar will go to Juba as he said because of his seriousness about the implementation of the peace agreement.

“Dr. Machar is sincere and serious about this R-ARCSS [and] he means it (going to Juba in May). I didn’t enquire from him after his meeting with the UN envoy but since he said it, for sure he means it and will do it,” Tut told the Nyamilepedia on Friday.

The senior opposition official further urged the South Sudan government to be sincere about the implementation of the peace agreement saying reports of ongoing forceful conscription in Tonj state violates the fragile agreement.

“It means a flagrant violation of the relevant articles of the security arrangements during pre-transitional period,” he said of the alleged military recruitment in Tonj.

“The agreement is an accord between partners to undertake a project of common interest or between enemies to bring peace and establish partnership, we need to be sincere if we really mean it,” he added.

In September 2018, South Sudan government and opposition groups signed a revitalized version of a 2015 peace deal that collapse a year later following a fight at the country’s Presidential Palace also known as ‘J1’.

The agreement,  negotiated in Khartoum under the auspices of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, was reached after the mediators threatened to isolate the country.