S. Sudan's rebel leader 'wants peace deal revived'

Riek Machar, speaking exclusively to Anadolu Agency, says rebels still willing to talk to S. Sudanese leader Salva Kiir

S. Sudan's rebel leader 'wants peace deal revived'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Riek Machar, South Sudan’s ex-First Vice President-turned-rebel leader who fled the country two months ago, said that there is need for a process to revive the peace deal signed last August.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency in Johannesburg this week, Machar said there was a need to return to peace and form a national unity government.

"President Salva Kiir started the war in July, breaking the peace agreement,” Machar said, accusing this of leading to the collapse of a tentative administration.

Machar said he hoped the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) -- a regional body which had led the South Sudanese talks process -- might play a role in reviving it.

He claimed Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni recently called him for a meeting, saying he wanted to see a political process revived.

The war between President Kiir’s mostly ethnic-Dinka forces and rival Nuer -- led by Riek Machar -- ran from December 2013 until a peace deal was reached in August last year.

Tens of thousands of people were killed and more than two million were displaced during the violence.

In April, Machar returned to Juba to join a unity government led by Kiir but after fighting broke out between the factions in July he fled the country and was replaced by Taban Deng, a member of his camp, as first vice president.

Machar said it was important for peace to be immediately restored in South Sudan to allow for the return of displaced civilians and create a conducive environment for investors.

He said his rebel group was still willing to negotiate with Kiir.

Machar travelled to South Africa this month from Sudan for medical checks. When asked by Anadolu Agency about his health, he said he was fine: “I am here for checkups. I already had treatment in Khartoum,” he said.

Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2016, 12:00
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