Machar’s final status to be decided in mid September – IGAD
August 21st 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has said that the final status of SPLM-IO leader and First Vice-President designate Dr. Riek Machar will be decided in a submit in mid September.
Machar was first detained in late 2016 in South Africa following the collapse of the peace agreement in July that year. He was moved to a Khartoum cell in May 2018 following the beginning of the revitalization of the peace agreement.
IGAD had hoped that the detention end the war given Machar’s isolation from the political arena in South Sudan.
Machar’s unconditional release has been one of the important demands of the main armed opposition group which has been fighting the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardiit since December 2013.
In September last year, the government and several opposition groups including the SPLM-IO signed a peace deal called the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) to end the war.
The agreement provided for the formation of a power-sharing government in May but the parties could not meet the deadline because all the pre-transitional activities necessary could not be implemented due to funding issues.
The parties had to meet in May in Addis Ababa to extend the pre-transitional period for another six months.
The six-month extension ends in November and as the deadline nears, the IGAD said no progress is being made and on this basis called for a meeting of the parties in Addis Ababa to discuss the way forward on Wednesday.
In a communique issued from Addis Ababa this evening, the IGAD Council of Ministers recommended to the Heads of State and government to deliberate on Machar in September
“[The IGAD Council of Ministers] …. recommends to the Heads of State and Government to hold an Extraordinary Summit of IGAD in mid-September 2019 to deliberate on and decide, among others, the status of Dr. Riek Machar,” the communique read in part.
The IGAD ministers further recommended “to the IGAD Heads of State and Government to convene face-to-face meeting of the top leadership of the Parties to discuss and resolve outstanding issues.”