Cover Story

PEACE TALKS Kiir, Machar, Museveni, in Khartoum

President Salva kiir and Dr. Riek Machar (File Photo)

By Moses Gum and Woja Emmanuel

In an attempt to end the five-year-old conflict, the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his rival former First Vice President turned rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar met yesterday in Khartoum for yet another face-to-face talk.

The meeting under the auspices of Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al Bashir was attended by his Uganda counterpart Yoweri Museveni who described the on-going conflict as a “senseless War”.

The Khartoum Round of talks being part of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) led peace process was held under the auspices of the Sudanese President Omar Hassan al Bashir.

Members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance including Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin and other stakeholders took part in the Khartoum meeting.

Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who met both President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar in Khartoum described the conflict in South Sudan as “senseless” which does not have any benefit both regionally and internationally.

“This war is meaningless and is not bringing any benefit to anybody. It does not give anything to South Sudanese, neighbours and even the whole world,” President Museveni said.

He said as a regional leader, his role in attending the meeting was to give moral support to the South Sudanese leaders to resolve their conflict and achieve lasting stability.

President Museveni urged the parties to the conflict to leave their differences and work to restore peace in the nation.

He thanked President Bashir for facilitating the face-to-face negotiation between Kiir and Machar as a way of reinstating tranquillity in the East African nation.

On his part, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit said he and his government are ready for peace.

“I want to assure you that the Transitional Government of National Unity is ready for peace,” he said before his meeting with Dr. Riek Machar.

Kiir said he was attending the meeting with an open mind for peace and that he expected the same from his rival Dr. Riek Machar.

Last week, President Kiir and Dr. Riek met in Ethiopia under the auspices of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy. Ahamed. The meeting ended without the most anticipated peace.

Meanwhile Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Bashir urged South Sudan leaders to find amicable solution to the ongoing crisis in the country.

He called on President Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar to put the interest of the country first before their personal interests.

President Bashir pledged to help the South Sudan warring parties in finding amicable solution to the on-going conflict.

Meanwhile Civil Society Organizations in Lakes State have appealed to the warring parties to soften their demands and positions and unite to sign a lasting peace for the sake of the innocent civilians in the country.

“As voice of voiceless, we call upon the Government to reconsider its stance on the return of Dr. Riek Machar to Juba and possibly as part of the upcoming transitional government”. “Mediators should shorten the period of the transitional government to 18 months for citizens to go for elections to decide their leaders” read the statement seen by Juba Monitor.

The CSOs also requested the SPLM in Opposition to abolish its call for dissolution of the Parliament.

In the statement, the CSOs stressed the need for all political parties to put the interest of South Sudanese above all their interests to avoid disintegration of citizens.

The CSOs noted that it is the leaders’ responsibility to bring back lasting peace and reconciliation, social cohesion, and diversity to unify the people.

After the Khartoum meeting, President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar will meet in Nairobi, Kenya to finalize their discussions for peace.



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