News / Africa

South Sudan Rebel Leader Confident about Political Settlement

South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar.
South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar.
Marthe van der Wolf
The South Sudanese rebel leader, Riek Machar, believes a political settlement can be reached during the next round of peace talks with the South Sudanese government.  
Machar said that despite their differences, he thinks the issues between the sides can be resolved.
“Now there's a lull in fighting, and then it is hoped that if we got an agreement, a transitional government would form. So it’s a roadmap for handling the peace process,” said Machar.
Fighting broke out in mid-December after a political rift between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Machar, his former vice president, boiled over.
An agreement between the two leaders was signed in early May, which was largely based on the January agreement that included a ceasefire deal. The January agreement has been repeatedly violated by both sides.
Machar claimed President Kiir is still violating the Cessation of Hostilities agreement.
"Ugandan troops are still in South Sudan, they have not been withdrawn. They should have been withdrawn progressively by January the 23rd, when the Cessation of Hostilities agreement was signed. The other foreign troops are Sudanese rebels that were fighting alongside the government. The Sudanese rebels and the Ugandan forces should have been withdrawn. So this is a violation of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement,” said Machar. 
It is said that opposition forces loyal to Machar are still fighting in the Upper Nile State, which would also be a violation of the ceasefire. But the rebel leader said he was not aware of any fighting by his troops in the Upper Nile State.
However, Machar did admit that not all anti-government fighters are under his control.
“Because some of them are volunteers. People who lost their [kin] in Juba, took up arms, they fight alongside us. Some we control, some we may not be able to control. And then the SPLM forces that sides with us, those we control. But we are working to ensure that the volunteers fighters are under control and command,” said Machar.
The next round of peace talks, led by the East African bloc IGAD, might see another high-level meeting between Machar and President Kiir in the coming week. During the signing ceremony in early May, they had committed to meet again within a month.
The conflict in South Sudan has left over 1.3 million people displaced and thousands dead. Aid organizations fear a humanitarian crisis as farmers did not plant their fields because of the fighting. A famine is looming, possibly affecting even more South Sudanese.

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Comment Sorting
by: Lisa from: Tx
June 09, 2014 2:17 AM
Dr riek, a peace maker he did called for peace wherever he goes, he have been preaching peace even calling upon the presendent to solve the hostile in the country by removing the Ugandan army, and also when he sign the ceasefire not to attack the areas control by the opposition, kiir, could not do anything. kiir, the word peace is not a joke, Jesus once said i live you peace and peace be with you all. Riek want us to be in peace with one another no more war, killing or leaving in fear because we are all Gods children. including you kiir and your family , you can't let your child to be killed in this stupid war, don't tell Jesus that your blinded by the people who love you, just call for true peace from your heart. Put you and your family in the camp, you feel what am saying, have you ever met a child left to dying on her mothers breast, what of the elderly people who are left behind because they are weak to move to safety, the disable wishing they where not born. I did encounter all this since the separation of the country this is all under your watch Mr kiir, people ask what is wrong with the country ? Why the killing Since you took the office? i know Dr riek, will just say its not easy to fight evil, evil forces are stronger then peace, but the only hope is to have faith in the creator .one day peace will come but you have choice, peace or war .

by: Dictor wang mut from: Juba
June 05, 2014 1:57 PM
Sanya, this tut is like any other Nuer opportunist who lobby for blood money and position from brutal killer kiir he doesn't care about the future of South Sudan as he stated that machar kills Nuer, machar looking for reform in the party but no peaceful dialogue from kiir.
After we are freed from kiir 16th Dec shall be declared as martyrs day R.I.P AMEN

by: Sanya kenyi from: Juba
June 05, 2014 3:23 AM
Oh Tut u meant Dr.Riak was in juba when the massacre took place.come on don't treat juba massacre as simplistic.The blood of the innocent will haunt their killers & the nationhood until they apologise to their souls(RIP)

by: tut mut from: America
June 04, 2014 9:29 PM
Riek Machar. Is the one that killing Nuer people. Because he lost is job n he looking to be President. By force. That's why we South Sudan lost 1.5 million people.
In Response

by: Nyakor from: USA
June 05, 2014 9:14 AM
tut Mut, first of all, your comment and your name don't go together. This comment doesn't fit with your name. It would be a good idea for you to use your actual name, be brave and use your real name because the sitatuation that we are in right now is not a joke. Be yourself. Not telling the truth will finish y'all one by one. To be honest with anyone who says that Riek is killing Nuer, know that Riek did not kill his own people, his own family please. Bless y'all

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