Kiir dodges regional initiative to meet Machar in Khartoum
August 18th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit refused Saturday regional initiative to meet opposition and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar in Khartoum on the sidelines of signing ceremony for constitutional declaration.
Machar, a powerful figure in South Sudan’s politics and the country’s First Vice-President designate, is being detained in the Sudanese capital Khartoum by regional powers over unclear reasons.
He was in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last week to meet a United Nations diplomat and was at the time expected to meet President Salva Kiir to discuss pending issues in the peace implementation.
Speaking to Nyamilepedia on Sunday, a source said from Khartoum that Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed asked initiated a face-to-face meeting between Kiir and Machar on the sideline of signing ceremony of Sudanese constitutional declaration on Saturday.
The source said President Kiir refused and suggested that such a meeting be conducted in Juba given what he said was an improved security situation for opposition leaders including Machar in Juba.
“He rejected that initiative to have a face-to-face meeting between him and Riek [Machar] today,” the source said.
“Dr. Abiy Ahmed initiated yesterday that the two could meet today Sunday but he (Kiir) rejected that initiative and decided to return to Juba without meeting Riek,” the source added.