Gov’t says no planned meeting between Kiir, Riak in Ethiopia

By Kitab A Unango

Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth has denied any planned meeting between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and opposition leader Riak Machar outside the country

“They have not yet agreed. That is social media information, that is not true,” Makuei said yesterday.

He was fielding questions from journalists who sought to know whether the two leaders plan to meet anytime soon in Ethiopia.

The two leaders have met twice in different occasions since the signing of the Revitalized Agreement in September, 12th, 3018with one in Juba during peace celebration and the other when Pope Francis invited them to Rome.

Last month civil society organizations and international communities called on the two leaders to meet regularly, build trust and develop culture of working together ahead of the formation of transitional government, comes Number 2019.

However, President Kiir has several times invited Dr Riak to Juba, the calls the later turned down citing lack of full implementation of security arrangement provided for in chapter two of the Revitalized Agreement.

Addressing journalists after Council of Ministers’ regular meeting chaired by President Kiir on Friday last week, Makuei said Riak has something missing right to be accompanied by those he trusted to come and meet Kiir in Juba.

Makuei also revealed that the government wanted opposition leader Dr Riak to stay in the country as they wait for the time for formation of the new government in the country.

“Leaders of other opposition parties are all here Dr Riak, anytime wants to come and meet the President, he is free to come. And if he fears any insecurity, he has right to be accompanied by any of the neighboring countries with whom he is staying,” he said.

“But we would prefer that he (Riak) comes and stays with the rest of his colleagues,”

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