Machar should return home: Raila Odinga told Kiir last week in Juba

Raila Odinga (c) shakes hand with president Kiir (c) (File photo)
Raila Odinga (c) shakes hand with president Kiir (c) (File photo)

May 29th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – Kenyan special envoy for South Sudan and the country’s representative to the on-going South Sudan peace talks in Ethiopia reportedly told president Salva Kiir last week in a closed door meeting in the country’s capital Juba that prominent opposition and SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar Teny should return to the country if there were to be peace in the young African country.

A source told the Nyamilepedia that the president insisted that the former first vice president and the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar should not return to the country saying that he had disagreed with him in several transitions and his return could not mean something new for South Sudan. However, the same source said Odinga told president Kiir that if there were to be peace, Machar have to return to South Sudan.

“Peace is made between enemies and not between friends. If there were to be peace in South Sudan, rival leaders must come together at all levels of government. And that is why, Riek Machar, the chairman of the SPLM-IO must return if there were to be peace in your country,” Odinga told president Salva Kiir in a closed door meeting.

Raila Odinga who is the chairman of the Kenyan opposition coalition NASA was appointed by the Kenyan president as both the country’s envoy to South Sudan and representative to peace. He is expected to travel to South Africa to meet rebel leader Riek Machar before the resumption of the peace process late next month.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after forces loyal to the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his then Governor of Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State Gen. Paul Malong Awan went door-to-door in the capital Juba killing civilians belonging to the Nuer ethnic group sparking a nation-wide protests from top army generals from the Nuer leading to a civil war.

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 by President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and negotiated under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) in presence of Troika and other international observers collapsed in July 2016 following fighting at the presidential palace in Juba “J1” reportedly after President Kiir ordered a failed attempt to arrest the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar.

A peace revitalization process ended without a formal agreement between warring parties last week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa after the regional mediated presented a peace proposal that seek to share power between different warring parties.

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