S. Sudan: Rebel Leader Machar Meets with Ugandan President
South Sudan’s former vice-president, turned rebel leader, Riek Machar has met with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni to seek help with the failed peace deal in South Sudan.
The pair met in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, on Sunday night to discuss the failed peace deal agreed between Machar and South Sudan President Salva Kiir in August last year. Both Machar and Kiir insist they are committed to establishing peace in the country, but violence has continued ever since.
Machar calls on Museveni for more influence
Rebel leader Machar has said he feels Uganda will play a key role in resolving South Sudan’s security crisis. The chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/A-IO) claims Uganda has been involved in his country’s conflict from the very beginning, but could play an even bigger role in bringing it to an end.
The opposition leader spoke before meeting with Museveni on Sunday, expressing his hope the Ugandan president would use his influence to speed up the resolution process in South Sudan.
“I think it is time for President Yoweri Museveni to exercise his influence on President Kiir,” the rebel leader told press. “So that President Kiir drops the 28 states and we go forward and forge a constitution, and the transitional national assembly, then a government can be established.”
Machar pinpoints 28 states as barrier to peace
Machar insists the only barrier to establishing a transitional government and bringing peace to the country is the 28 states decree President Kiir announced late last year. Opposition members say the president’s decree is unconstitutional and in violation of the peace agreement signed in August. Meanwhile, Kiir and his government claim the decree is an improvement on the peace deal terms as it benefits the rebels as much as the existing government.
“If you go to the agreement you will find that whatever we have done is not a violation; it is an improvement,” South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei, told the press.