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Machar to head SPLM-IO delegation to Ethiopia, Kiir not going

South Sudan SPLM-IO Chairman and COmmander-in-Chief Dr. Riek Machar Machar Teny-Dhurgon arrives at the national palace to negotiate with South Sudan President Salva Kiir in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

August 16th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny will next week lead a high-level delegation to Ethiopia for a meeting on peace implementation, a spokesman allied to him said.

The regional bloc, IGAD, which mediated the South Sudan peace deal signed last year has invited the parties to Addis Ababa to discuss deadlock over implementation of pre-transitional activities.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia on Friday, Puok Both Baluang, the SPLM-IO director of information confirmed that Machar will lead the SPLM-IO delegation to Addis meeting.

“Yes, H.E. Dr. Riek Machar will lead the SPLM (IO) delegation to Addis Ababa to attend the meeting called for the IGAD,” Baluang said.

Kiir not going to Ethiopia

For their part, the government said in a statement Thursday that President Salva Kiir Mayardiit will not attend the meeting in person but will delegate three officials to represent him.

He is opposited to meeting the armed opposition leader outside the country saying the security has improved for opposition leaders in Juba and other parts of the country.

Last week, Kiir refused regional initiative to organize a face-to-face encounter with Machar saying any meeting should be done in Juba.

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