AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Kiir declares ceasefire and starts a national dialogue but his main opponent is excluded

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 politics   peace  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "Riek Machar is our leader and commander in chief, we will not send any delegates to Juba without his order", said Paul Gabriel, spokesman of the Sudan's People's Liberation Movement Opposition (SPLM-IO), in response to the announcement made on May 22 by the President of South Sudan, Salve Kiir, of the establishment of the ceasefire and the launch of a dialogue with all the rebel forces, but on condition that the SPLM-IO does not send Machar to negotiate. Machar is former Vice President of South Sudan and Kiir's main opponent. According to SPLM-IO spokesperson, national dialogue is only a pretext for alleviating international pressure on Juba, while "government forces, in fact, continue to spate territorial resources and kill civilians".
President Kiir's chief ally, Ugandan Head of State, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, urged him not to waste the votes obtained in 2011, recalling that most of his voters belong to the South Sudanese society and not to a single tribe. The civil war broke out in December 2013, which immediately took on an ethnic and tribal dimension, as denounced by Bishops (see Fides 24/2/2017). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 24/5/2017)