News / Africa

South Sudan Ex-VP Rejects President Kiir’s Offer to End Conflict

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 12, 2014.
South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 12, 2014.
Peter Clottey

South Sudan former vice president Riek Machar has rejected President Salva Kiir’s proposal to name him as second vice president in a transitional unity government before next year’s vote as part of a negotiating deal to end the country’s eight-month conflict.

In an interview with VOA, Machar who heads the rebellion against the government in Juba says his representatives at the talks want direct face-to-face peace talks with officials of the government at the negotiations in neighboring Ethiopia to resolve the conflict.

He says the involvement of other parties in the negotiations has often hampered efforts to reach an agreement to end the conflict.

“I believe that direct talks between us and the government will yield quicker results and will ensure the peace agreement arrives faster than having others on the roundtable,” said Machar. “

He blames mediators from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) after the talks failed to meet the August 10 deadline.  IGAD extended peace negotiations to August 28, after the two parties failed to meet the deadline to conclude a peace agreement.

Machar said IGAD is to blame for failure to meet the deadline.

“Personally, I blame the mediators because at times they would suspend the peace talks without a good reason, particularly, when the chief mediator went to New York, we could have continued the peace talks,” said Machar.  “We were saying, we want to have direct talks, but now the mediators are insisting that there would be round table talks with five others; the civil society organizations ... and former detainees with the two parties.”

Machar says as a demonstration of his commitment to the negotiations he has remained in Addis Ababa to help expedite the peace talks.

But the South Sudan government has repeatedly accused the rebels of undermining the recent agreement signed between President Kiir and Machar that called for the cessation of hostilities.  The government says rebels allied to the former vice president attacked civilians as well as positions of the national army in parts of the country, which the administration says contravened the agreement.

Machar dismissed the allegation as false.  He says the presence of Uganda troops is a violation of the agreement signed between the two parties.

“The cessation of hostilities stipulates the Ugandan forces must withdraw and they should have withdrawn last January, [but] up to now they are in South Sudan,” he said.

“If you make a map, of when the cessation of hostilities was signed since January 23, and you map out the locations of the government at the time and you compare with the locations they are in today, it will show you that they are the ones advancing and they are the ones violating the cessation of hostilities,” said Machar.

He says his group wants the root causes of the conflict to be resolved, calling for reforms in the country’s army, judiciary, and civil and public services.

Machar denied reports rebels loyal to him have been re-arming for another round of intensified combat with South Sudan’s national army.

“Where do I get money to buy arms?  It is the government that is buying arms from China.  It is Juba that is buying arms using our oil, while our people are suffering.  When there is looming humanitarian disaster, famine is coming, and Juba is buying arms at the value of $ 1.7 billion when the need for averting the humanitarian disaster is $700 million,” he said.

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by: jaylat gatkuoth from: usa
August 30, 2014 12:35 AM
Even though I'm from a tribe of these two south sudanese leaders.enough is enough both guys and the entire adminstration shall resign re write the constitution to the point there be peaceful transition of power.no two men's who wants to lead they people shall let them suffer for sake of power.also those hate one another because he nor she is dinkka shilluk nure mabaab is pure ingnorances..love your folllow tribes its the only solution to over coming this madness of political struggle


by: kharbino from l state
August 21, 2014 10:33 AM
i don't need riek to lead s sudan and forever is one.second to it our president kiir is one recommended rule s sudan nobedy come out.


by: First Lady from: Jerusalem
August 21, 2014 4:24 AM
Be wise, the president of south sudan, Salva Kir Mayardit was choosen by south sudanese themselfes including Riek Machar himselfe, today there is no need to deniey the government after achieving what u wanted from being a poor man to a rich man.
Please, step down your durty games and be wise people, are you not fedup of the bush? Every season runing back to the bush is not a solution.
The children are suffering because of you demanding more than you have,


by: David from: USA
August 21, 2014 12:30 AM
It would be better if Dr. Riek has become the president. 1. He knows what do for the country. 2. He love the country not for money but for patriotic. 3. He has education he would youth value education more than money. Dr. Riek has a PHD which he can maintain his abroad but he chose to help S. Sudan over England or any other countries if you all know what that mean, we should give him chance rule this country and at least see what he has for his country.


by: wilson from: Australia
August 19, 2014 9:57 PM
I did comment that Riek shouldn't be allowed to be a president due to his past.once a rebel will always be a rebel and will sell the country out. Now the exact thing happen.Riek is a traitor


by: cos from: Juba south sudan
August 19, 2014 9:05 AM
Breaking news; Yesterday at an our of 12:45 local time,there was a serious shooting between SPLA robbers and SPLA corruptors at Rock city area and Gudele one. The reason was that,during Dr John Garang regime when we were in the bush,we used to share even one groud nut among our selves but because of the money in the name of south Sudanese Pounds,has distanced love among our selves and others are left poor. Thus they need a president who is at least neutral and it can neither be Kirr nor Riek because they have ashamed us the sedan Sudanese.

In Response

by: Neutral from: Nairobi
August 23, 2014 7:21 AM
Cos, I am with you. I have lost hope in the two leaders. No different between them. they are the ones who looted our country for 8 years. their supporters are too blind to see to that. I come from the tribe of one of them but to me, they are all the same. non of them is good. One of them allow corruption for years to loot the money which would have bought development to the country, the other one was involved in corruption with his former boss, he like killing people like his boss. He is worse like his boss. I just pray for war to stop and we choose other leaders through elections.


by: Anonymous from: Americam
August 19, 2014 2:38 AM
We those who went to ethiopia loving our people to think back about 1980s bad not tallest building you have now or money'let remember long time we took to brought of our own flag south sudan.i left my school and same to all sudanese who were in the suffered'i need respect to be given us not money.we have lists and our records available.we need peace.our country have alot of good that why we seeing difference nationalities every where not becauseljl they loving us the need takes something,my messasage


by: Daniel d manyok from: America
August 19, 2014 2:05 AM
I have something in my mind that can our people in south sudan,when we were in bush for 21years,we used to divided even cups of maize together but now one can take it for his or hers own families.please let share what have now,and we will love each others,if nor there will


by: Thabor Ding from: America
August 18, 2014 9:57 AM
It is Salva Kiir who is dejecting peace not Dr. Riek because nobody will accept Salva Kiir to continue leading South sudan due to his genocidal act of massacre of over 20,000 Nuer ethnic civilians in Juba. Salva Kiir must stepdown to allow peace because a genocidal president can no longer lead a country. He is a tribalist leader not national leader.


by: Ayuiu Makuac Lam from: Lakes state-Rumbek
August 18, 2014 9:32 AM
Riek Machar, is lying of being wasting his times.
No body will elected him into a post of presidency.

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