Machar urges reconciliation, reiterates commitment to peace in Easter message

South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a news conference in his office in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri – RTX1QF4B

April 21st 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny who is also the country’s First Vice President designate has urged – in a Easter message – the people of South Sudan to reconcile as they mark the important Christian holiday.

The Easter, also called ‘Pascha’ or ‘Resurrection’ Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary during the 30 century AD.

“As we the Christians believe God Almighty allowed his only beloved son to die on the cross in order to reconcile us to himself, I therefore appeal to all South Sudanese to use the opportunity of Easter for reconciliation with one another,” Machar said in his Easter message seen by the Nyamilepedia.

South Sudan is in a brutal civil war that has been engulfing the nation since December 2013 following a flare-up of violence between ruling party officials during a convention at Juba’s Nyakuron Cultural Centre igniting clashes in the army that eventually led to a civil war.

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 by President Salva Kiir and Machar collapsed a year later following a dog-fight at the presidential palace between guards loyal to each of the two who were then the President and the First Vice President.

The IGAD decided to resuscitate the agreement and the two men – alongside other opposition leaders – signed a revitalized version of the same peace agreement in hope to end the war that has killed hundreds of thousands and uprooted millions from their home.

Machar, in the message, further expressed the commitment of his Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) to the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement he signed with President Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa on September 12 following months of negotiations in the Sudanese capital Khartoum ousted by the former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

“I thank God that this year and for the first time since the tragic war broke out in 2013 we celebrate in hope for lasting peace as we embark on the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCISS) which was signed on 12th September 2018,” Machar further said.

“We want to assure the people of South Sudan that we are fully committed to the implementation of the agreement and we are confident that it will finally end the six-year civil war which brought untold suffering upon our people,” he added.