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US Cancels Meeting with South Sudan Officials

Former South Sudan vice president Riek Machar says he was furious after U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice cancelled a meeting with him, Vice President James Wani Igga and former detainee Pagan Amum.

The White House said Wedesday it cancelled a meeting with three senior South Sudanese officials because President Salva Kiir's government and Riek Machar's opposition have failed to commit to the weeks'-old IGAD-Plus peace deal.

National Security Council spokesman Ned Price told South Sudan in Focus that National Security Advisor Susan Rice invited South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga, Machar, and former detainee Pagan Amum to the White House for a meeting to press them to implement the peace deal that all three parties signed in August.

But, Price said, "After a renewal of fighting over the weekend, as well as Machar’s unwillingness to make compromises at security sector reform negotiations, and the government’s decision to create ... 28 new states, in violation of the spirit of the peace agreement, we decided to not receive the parties here at the White House until they demonstrate a stronger commitment to promoting peace in South Sudan.”

Machar 'furious' over cancellation

Machar told VOA's Straight Talk Africa on Wednesday that he was angered at the cancellation of the meeting with Rice.

"It made me furious," Machar said.

"She should listen to our challenges. She should listen to our concerns. She should listen to the challenges in the implementation of the peace agreement. Instead of hiding, she should come out and assist us," he said.

Machar called on the international community to provide financial assistance to South Sudan so that the peace deal can be implemented and national reconciliation and healing promoted.

He said neither his side nor the government have the necessary funds to put the words of the peace agreement into action.

Wani Igga was unavailable for comment on the cancellation of the meeting but told VOA in an interview Tuesday that President Kiir's order to create 28 new states was a reaction to "the clamor of the people."

The vice president also said the South Sudan government was open to further talks on Mr. Kiir's controversial order to redraw South Sudan's internal boundaries.