Machar, officials discuss “way forward” in a night-long meeting

SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 20th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar has reportedly met a group of his officials who are currently on a peace mission to Juba and discussed what a opposition official said is a “way forward.”

The opposition leader returned to the country on Saturday ahead of a meeting with a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) delegation due in Juba later today. He was accompanied by an unarmed force of 300 soldiers headed for a cantonment site near Juba.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia this morning, an opposition official said from Juba that they have been meeting Machar overnight and discussed what he said would the “way forward.”

“We have been meeting with the Chairman and this meeting took so long last night,” the official who declined not to be named said. “We discussed with him the way forward.” 

The official however didn’t mention whether Machar was preparing to make concession over issues the government said won’t address unless a unity government is formed such as determination of the number and boundaries of states.

The parties are now on a logger head over the number and boundaries of the states. The government of President Salva Kiir wants the issue addressed by the revitalized unity government while opposition groups such as Machar’s SPLM-IO and the NDM led by Dr. Lam Akol wants the issue first addressed because it risks taking the country back to war.

A UNSC delegation is due in Juba this afternoon to try to salvage understanding between Kiir and Machar over the pending issues and to potentially make it very clear to the parties that they won’t accept excuses for prolongation of the pre-transitional period.

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