Africa Eastern Africa Politics Press Release South Sudan

Dr. Machar’s Grand Reception In Nairobi

Dr. Riek Machar Teny's Briefing on his arrival in Kenya at an invitation of president Uhuru Kenyatta(Photo: State House)
Dr. Riek Machar Teny’s Briefing on his arrival in Kenya at an invitation of president Uhuru Kenyatta(Photo: State House)

May 29, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Sources from Nairobi, Kenya, strongly emphasize how warmly the leaders of the South Sudan’s armed opposition, under Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, were received by the Kenyan government officials.

Sources report that the advanced delegation that received Machar was staffed with high profile security intelligence.

Machar’s own intelligence force, a mixed of diaspora-trained and those that were expelled from South Sudan, was reportedly at the brim with the security arrangements.

The surveillance was timely despite that Machar was expected to visit the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, before Nairobi.

Upon his arrival in Nairobi, Machar held successful meetings with supporters and other reformists including Dr. Richard Kenyi. Among the gatherings were the civil societies, religious leaders, supporters and South Sudanese youth in the country.

Meeting government officials:

Machar is expected to meet with Kenyan government officials while his short visit lasts. The top officials that Machar was scheduled to meet include mediator Gen. Lazaro Sumbeiyo, the presidency Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, and others.

So far, Machar has met the Kenyan chief mediator, Lazaro Sumbeiywo and president Uhuru Kenyatta.

Gen. Lazaro, who was among the officials who reportedly enforced the recent agreement between Machar and Kiir, negotiated the Machakos Peace Agreement and also played vital roles in the CPA that led to the independent of South Sudan in 2011.

According to James Gatdet Dak, Dr. Machar met with president Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday.

“Our chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, has on Wednesday met with the president of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, at the State House. The long meeting was cordial and examined the mechanisms in the ongoing IGAD-mediated peace process between our movement and the Juba regime,” Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak said.

Dr. Riek is expected to meet with other government officials including some of his colleagues in the Kenyan opposition parties.

Family Reunion:

Although Machar did not list Kenya as his top priority, part of his family lives in Nairobi. This would be the first time Machar reunites with his family since he narrowly escaped the controversial assassination in December, last year.

As confirmed by mama Rebecca, the widow of Dr. John Garang, senior anti-government officials, relatives and friends, Machar lost 34 family members, relatives and staff when the presidential guards droved through his residence in Juba, on 17th December, 2013.

The house, which initially belonged to the government, was grounded with tanks by a combined presidential militia and tiger battalion, leaving some dead and other wounded.

Anjelina Teny, the wife to Dr. Machar, who narrowly escaped with him, broke into tears in Addis Ababa while narrating her sad experience of how helpless she felt hearing children crying for her help over the phone as the presidential guards brutally turned against them.

Machar hardly elaborates his sorrowful experiences in the context of his own family; instead he believes that it is not a personal grudge with his main rival, Salva Kiir. He reiterates that his differences with his former boss are politically based on ideologies.

Machar believes that he would transform these tough experiences to reform the nation and reconcile the masses.

Public Reaction:

Although a few SPLM-IO supporters were critical of the conduct of the security staff, many supporters were contented with the helping hands of Kenyan authority, as well as the community support extended to Machar’s leadership.

One South Sudanese, from Nairobi Hill, strongly reiterated that Machar’s grand welcome was incomparable.

“The democratic leader, Dr-Riek Machar-Teny, had a warm reception that was never enjoyed by Kiir in Nairobi… Kenyan Envoy Lazaro Sumbeiywo, high profile government officials, thousands of his supporters and a good number of foreign diplomats were among the crowds” said Martin, a South Sudanese residing in Nairobi.

Another concern South Sudanese, echoes across the continents from Australia how elegant Machar’s leadership is being treated in the Kenyan capital.

“The reception Dr Riek Machar received from the Government of Kenya was remarkable… President Uhuru Kenyatta made Dr Riek felt at home with a warm welcome which included the mention of KILELESHWA a suburb where Dr Riek Machar once lived.” Changkuoth stated.

The former detainees are as well getting some courtesies, living on luxurious property against the will of their former boss, Salva Kiir, who kept them in jail for over 4 months.

Related stories:

Looking after special guests from S. Sudan

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with former vice president’s wife, Angelina Teny

EXCLUSIVE: Rebecca Nyandeng Garang Reveals All — How Salva Kiir’s ‘private army’ prompted the current conflict

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