President Salva Kiir has no plan to meet Opposition Leader Dr. Riek Machar during the forthcoming official visit to Ethiopia, the presidential press secretary has told Eye Radio.
On Wednesday, the executive director of CEPO announced in a press release that President Salva Kiir would meet Dr. Machar in Addis Ababa next week to discuss the pending tasks of the pre-transitional period.
Dr. Machar traveled to Addis Ababa two days ago on an alleged invitation by the IGAD.
Recently, the US ambassador to South Sudan called for continued talk with the signatories to the revitalized peace agreement.
Amb. Thomas Hushek argued that it is not enough to wait to set up a power-sharing government while months slip away without key leaders meeting and talking with each other.
Ateny Wek Ateny said Kiir will travel to Addis Ababa but his visit will revolve around bilateral issues between his government and that of Dr Abiy Ahmed.
“He’s going for a working visit. He and Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Federal Republic of Ethiopia, will be engaged in bilateral talks between South Sudan and Ethiopia and that does not include meeting Macahr,” Ateny stated.
“Machar may have been in Ethiopia but no plan for the President to meet with [him] anytime, anywhere, except in Juba.”
In April, President Kiir invited Dr. Machar to return to Juba to form the next government of national unity.
But he turned down the request, citing unimplemented security arrangements – prompting the parties to extend the pre-transitional period to November.
According to reports, the five years of fighting which was triggered by the two leaders has crippled the country, which saw mass rape, millions displaced and almost 400,000 people dead from violence and diseases.
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Published Tuesday, July 7, 2020
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