South Sudan: Rebel leader Machar to hold talks with president

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South Sudan’s top rebel leader Riek Machar has accepted an invitation from Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed to attend talks with South Sudan President Salva Kiir next week.

The meeting will take place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa where Machar and Kiir will meet to discuss the ongoing conflict in South Sudan and the country’s failed peace process.

South Sudan leaders to meet

A spokesperson for Riek Machar said his rebel party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) welcomes the invitation to attend peace talks with President Salva Kiir.

“The Movement welcomes this invitation … it will go a long way in building confidence in the peace process,” his spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement confirmed that Salva Kiir had received invitation from Ethiopia’s prime minister to attend talks on June 20, which will be led by the East African blog, the IGAD. The talks would mark the first meeting between South Sudan’s president and the country’s top rebel leader since a peace deal between the pair failed in August 2016, forcing Riek Machar out of South Sudan.

Featured image: “Salva Kiir, the president of southern Sudan” flickr photo by Al Jazeera English https://flickr.com/photos/aljazeeraenglish/5335499393 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.