June 30, 2017(Nyamilepedia) ——- South Sudan’s Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the former Vice President, Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of SPLM/A-IO mainstream was visited this week by South Sudanese elderly politicians and spiritual leaders in attempt to persuade him to join “the National Dialogue”.
According to South Sudan Embassy in South Africa, the high level delegation was led by Hon. Angelo Beda Bangboru, the Co-Chairman of the National Dialogue, and Rev. Mathew Mathiang Deng, a respected elderly Politician and a former Moderator of Presbyterian Church of Sudan.
Hon. Angelo and Rev. Mathew arrived in South African capital on June 27th and were accompanied by undercover security and members of South Sudan media, who are loyal to president Salva Kiir.
According to the Embassy staff, who declined to be quoted, the delegation was made up of seven members from Juba, who sneaked into Johannesburg to meet Dr. Machar.
Machar’s office has confirmed Hon. Jeda’s arrival in South Sudan and attempted to meet with Dr. Machar, however, the chairman of the armed opposition declined to meet them again stressing that a national dialogue cannot substitute resuscitation and full implementation of the Peace Agreement which he signed in August, 2015.
In a previous letter, dated June 24th, Machar acknowledges the important of a national dialogue but argued that the parties must first silence the guns before the grassroots can dialogue and reconcile.
“As much as we believe national dialogue is an important process for the people for South Sudan to engage in, however, it is our considered opinion that the priority is to end the raging genocidal war in the country” Machar stated, June 24.
The growing demand to involve Machar or SPLM/A-IO in the National Dialogue has come a long away.
Six months ago, both the President and the Co-Chairmen refused representation from Machar’s SPLM/A faction or any other opposing factions, however, as the National Dialogue dwindles, the president and co-chairmen made allowance to accept participation from everyone else except Dr. Machar.
Recently, Juba, Kampala and Addis Ababa made major shifts to acknowledge the importance of Dr. Machar in Peace Implementation, National Dialogue and Reunification of the bitterly divided SPLM.
This month, while a reunification meeting of the SPLM was adjourned in Entebe until mid July to allow Dr. Machar to prepare to attend the meeting or send a delegation, IGAD resolved to organize an inclusive High Level Revitalization Forum that must consult and include Dr. Machar and other stakeholders.
The IGAD meeting is scheduled for July 13, 2017, and consultations are underway but whether Dr. Machar will attend or not is yet to be confirmed.
The former Vice President, who has led the armed opposition for the last three and a half years, has been forced to stay in South Africa for almost a year, however, his influence in South Sudan remains very significant.
Despite selective implementation of articles of the Agreement of Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan(ARCISS) by Salva Kiir’s government, South Sudan’s crises continued to deteriorate over the last one year leaving the East Africa region, which receives huge influx of refugees, and the International Community, shouldering humanitarian responsibilities, to reconsider their initial position on South Sudan Peace Agreement and Machar’s isolation.