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IGAD wants face-to-face meeting between Kiir, Machar

Author : @er | Published: Friday, June 1, 2018

President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar in Juba in 2016. PHOTO//Larco Lomayat

The IGAD Council of Ministers has recommended a face-to-face meeting between President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar in June.

This was an outcome of the 62nd extra-ordinary session of the council which was held in Addis Ababa on Thursday.

The session was attended by foreign affairs ministers from IGAD countries and representatives of US, UK, Norway and China.

There should be “a face-to-face meeting between H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit and H.E. Dr. Riek Machar before the 31st Summit of the Assembly of the African Union to be held on 1 and 2 July 2018 in Noukakchott, Mauritania,” read a communiqué by the IGAD Council of Ministers.

The suggestion is addressed to the Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar last meet in July 2016 when the violence erupted at the presidential palace, J1.

Dr. Riek fled the country and now is under house arrest in South Africa.

The IGAD Council of Ministers’ recommendation comes after calls by the president for him to return to the country.

However, Dr Machar’s spokesman Stephen Kuol rejected the offer of protection on the condition that Dr Machar returns without troops loyal to him.

He told the BBC Focus on Africa that the issue is sufficient security arrangements for everyone to come to Juba.

Recently, IGAD gave parties to the High Level Revitalization Forum a bridging proposal on governance and security which gives the post of the First Vice President to Machar’s group.

But the government said the position should be held by any other person form the SPLM/A-IO and not Dr Machar.

The IGAD Council of Ministers has also decided to make a final decision on the effective participation of Dr. Riek Machar on the ongoing peace process.

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