Tuesday, 26 January 2016

MACHAR: I am ready to start a new chapter of peace in South Sudan

Machar and Museveni discuss peace in Masindi, Uganda
 last night. PHOTOS BY PPU

South Sudan’s Opposition leader Riek Machar is ready to work with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to revive peace initiatives in Juba that have stalled.

Museveni and Machar's delegation of 15 met last night at Masindi State Lodge to discuss peace in South Sudan.

The President is camped in Masindi and Hoima where he is campaigning as NRM Presidential flag bearer in the up coming national elections next month.  

A press statement from State House quoted Machar as having told his host that “I want to start a new chapter of peace and friendship.” 

President Museveni, the statement added, responded that he was available to support any peace initiatives to stabilize South Sudan.

"Dr. Riek Machar who arrived in the country with his 15 member delegation that included Ms. Angelina Teny the Chairperson of SPLM national committee for Security and Defense, Ambassador Ezekeil Lol Gatkuoth the SPLM chairperson for the national committee on foreign affairs and Dr. Peter Odwok the SPLM national chairperson for the committee for training and research among other, briefed President Museveni on the progress and steps so far taken to fully implement the negotiated peace process in South Sudan."

"President Museveni and his guest also discussed a number of issues pertaining to the political, economic, security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan as well as the role and mandate of the Inter-Governmental Authority on development in bringing about lasting peace in South Sudan. 
President Museveni commended the progress so far made in bringing about peace and stability in South Sudan and the positive response of the two sides. He pledged the Ugandan government support to ensure that lasting peace returns to South Sudan."

On the constitution, a major issue of disagreement, Machar, the former South Sudan Vice President and current rebel leader had told VOA a day earlier that  the rebels first want to amend the current transitional constitution to incorporate last August's agreement, which recognizes only 10 states. But he said the South Sudan government wants to enshrine Kiir's 28 states in the new constitution.

"I think it is time for President Yoweri Museveni to exercise his influence on President Kiir so that President Kiir drops the 28 states and we go forward and forge a constitution, and the transitional national assembly, then a government can be established," Machar said.

Here is a statement from Machar's camp

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