June 13th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) welcomed today, the invitation extended to their Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, for a face-to-face meeting with South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardiit next Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
In a statement extended to the Nyamilepedia, the group’s Chairman of National Committee for Information and Public Relations Mabior Garang de’Mabior said they welcomes the request by the Ethiopian government for the Presence of their Chairman in the Ethiopian capital for a face-to-face meeting with President Kiir.
“The leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) acknowledges receipt of the invitation letter sent by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, requesting the presence of the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO), Dr. Riek Machar Teny-dhuorangun, for IGAD led face-to-face talks with President Salva Kiir on the 20th of June, 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Movement welcomes this invitation and salutes the courage of IGAD for reaching this prudent and timely decision, it will go a long way in building confidence in the peace process,” Mabior said in the statement.
The SPLM-IO however said they view the high-level meeting as a way to boost the inclusivity of the peace process but does not perceive it as the end of the conflict.
“The SPLM/SPLA (IO) would also like to take this opportunity to assure our colleagues in the opposition and the people of South Sudan at large that the SPLM/SPLA (IO) views the face-to-face meeting between our Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir, as a means to move the all-inclusive peace process forward and not as an end in itself. The SPLM/SPLA (IO) is fully committed to the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) as the only way to bring about fundamental change in our country and we shall not betray the aspirations of our people, for the trappings of power,” Mabior said in the statement.
The statement reiterates the SPLM-IO’s full commitment to the peace process and to a negotiated settlement and said it shall continue to engage positively with IGAD and all friends of South Sudan interested in helping to achieve peace.
“We shall also continue to negotiate in good faith to restore peace to our people through the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF). However, in light of the regime’s intransigence, continued violation of the CoH and the continuation and evolution of their genocidal practices, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) reserves the natural right of self-defense,” the statement further said.