July 8, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has said that he did not want to work with opposition leader and First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, again following the outbreak of civil war in December 2013, but had to accept for the sack of peace.
Kiir made the remarks during a televised address to the nation on the eve of the country’s 9th independence anniversary.
In the remarks, Kiir reiterated his commitment to the revitalized peace agreement, but said had it not been because of the peace deal, he would not work with Machar again.
“I have said and I am repeating it tonight that my commitment to the cause for peace and stability in our country remains total. In this context, I have strived to do all I can to steer the peace process forward,” Kiir said.
“After the tragic events of 2013 and 2016, I could hardly imagine ever working again with Dr. Riek Machar, the leader of the SPLM/IO, but having decided that we must put the interest of the country and its people above all else, I changed my mind,” he added.
He further said that in accepting to work with Machar, he told Museveni of Uganda and ex-Sudanese President Omar al Bashir that he “was going to swallow my pride and resume working with Dr. Riek Machar.”
“It was this key concession which made it possible to realize the Revitalized Peace Agreement that we signed in Addis Ababa on September 12, 2018,” he said while pointing to concessions he made including the return of the country to 10 states which has been a demand of the opposition.
“Again, in the interest of peace, I have to relinquish the popular thirty-two (32) states and revert to ten (10) states so as to move the process forward. I did not make these concessions because of any weakness on the side of the government I lead, I made them in the interest of moving forward the cause of peace in the country.”