Reports: Machar invited to attend IGAD summit on Thursday

Dr. Riek Machar Teny (center) speaking to Kenya's Ababu Namwamba in South Africa on the 15th May 2017 (Photo courtesy)
Dr. Riek Machar Teny (center) speaking to Kenya’s Ababu Namwamba in South Africa on the 15th May 2017 (Photo courtesy)

May 30th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has invited the prominent South Sudan opposition leader and the country’s former first vice president, Riek Machar, who leads the armed opposition movement, the SPLM/A-IO, against the South Sudanese government of Salva Kiir Mayardiit, several sources told the Nyamilepedia on Wednesday.

Sources from the South Sudan embassy in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, told the Nyamilepedia on Wednesday that the the regional bloc, IGAD, had invited Machar to the Extraordinary summit due for Thursday.

“Government says that Machar is going to be send an invitation too and come to Addis for the same consultation. The Agenda for the meeting has not been made public yet,” one source said on the condition of anonymity.

However, the source itself casts doubt over the possibility of Machar’s participation in the high-level summit by saying that it is still unclear if this could happen.

“It’s not clear whether the opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar is going to attend the consultation,” he said.

Nyamilepedia could not independently verify the issue but will update the readers in case of any new development.

Another source also told Nyamilepedia that he is aware of the initiative but said he is not aware if the invitation has been sent.

“Yes there is an initiative that Machar could attend the summit, but I am not sure whether the invitation has been sent. Currently, there is no any preparation whether he will come today or tomorrow,” he said.

Machar has been under house arrest since October 2016 after the regional bloc reportedly asked South African authorities to detain him from leaving the country reportedly in hope to prevent him from taking part in the political crisis in South Sudan in order to stop the war but but in contrary, the war has been raging on since then.

In March 2018, the IGAD decided to “release him” but the planned release has some demands attached to it which the opposition said do not make sense.

The IGAD said Machar must first renounce violence in order to be relocated to one of the country outside the region (neighboring countries).

For their part, the opposition said their group under Machar has already signed a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement with the government; something they said shows their group is not interested in violent meant of solving the current crisis.

A IGAD delegation which visited Machar in South Africa disagreed with him after approaching him to inform him that the regional bloc have decided to relocate him to Djibouti

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.

The 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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