World Bulletin / News Desk
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni rejected to meet a delegation representing South Sudanese rebel group who arrived in Kampala for “preliminary” talks with the Ugandan leader, the group’s representative in Addis Ababa Goy Yooyul Yol said.
“The delegation of the South Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement in Opposition flew to Kampala on Monday to hold preliminary talks with the Ugandan president,” Yol told Anadolu Agency, noting that the trip came in response to an invitation from Museveni who asked to meet the group’s leader Riek Machar.
“Museveni had asked to meet Machar through a messenger in the person of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo,” he said, adding that Machar accepted the offer but demanded preliminary talks for security assurances.
“But in the last minute, after the security delegation touched down in Kampala airport, Museveni refused to meet them,” Yol said.
The delegates headed for Kampala along with mediators from the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an east Africa trade bloc, which has been active in the South Sudan peace talks for months.
Museveni has been blamed by the South Sudanese rebels for intervening in the conflict in their country by sending his troops on the ground to fight by the side of the regime forces of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.
Kampala, however, said its troops were sent to South Sudan to protect basic infrastructure from destruction in the war and in line with request by the South Sudanese president for help.
South Sudan collapsed into chaos late last year when Kiir accused Machar of attempting to overthrow his regime.
Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in subsequent fighting, while large swathes of the population remain on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe.
Peace talks sponsored by the IGAD are currently stalled.
No date has been set for their resumption, even though the two sides had agreed to form a transitional government within 60 days of signing a June 10 agreement.Last Mod: 23 Temmuz 2014, 10:07