Machar pushes for caretaker govt as face-to-face meeting with Kiir flops

Posted Saturday, May 31 2014, THE EAST AFRICA

By: FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent, JUN/01/2014, SSN;

IN SUMMARY:
*Dr Machar is proposing the breaking up of South Sudan into federal regions with greater autonomy but which contributes taxes to the central government.
*Dr Machar insisted that the transition include stakeholders drawn from political parties, civil society, religious leaders and ex-detainees, and that he is willing to stay out the entire term of the caretaker government.
*Nairobi, having midwifed the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that saw South Sudan secede from the greater Sudan, has been careful not to take sides in the conflict.

Kenya and Uganda are seeking to safeguard their exports to South Sudan, which is also a key source of employment for their nationals, and are worried about the influx of Sudanese refugees and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

The whirlwind tour of regional capitals by South Sudan’s rebel leader Dr Machar this week could be an indication that a solution for the political crisis in South Sudan could be in the offing. The last time Dr Machar was seen in public he was attending the signing of the May 9 ceasefire agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr Machar, who is said to have jetted in the country on a commercial flight from Addis Ababa on Tuesday, is putting up in a city hotel at the expense of Igad.

Earlier plans to have Dr Machar and South Sudan President Salva Kiir hold a face-to-face meeting in Nairobi this week aborted after Kenya expressed concern that working outside the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) framework of negotiations could complicate issues ahead of the resumption of the Addis Ababa session next week.

The EastAfrican has established that Dr Machar’s Nairobi visit was brokered by Kenya’s retired president Daniel arap Moi, who is also using the government’s diplomatic network to try to get President Kiir to travel to Nairobi for face-to-face talks with Dr Machar.

Kenya’s special envoy to the Sudanese negotiations, Lazarus Sumbeiywo, was dispatched to Juba early in the week to try to get President Kiir to meet with Dr Machar.

Sources say that Mr Moi — having launched the Sudanese peace talks that culminated in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement — is concerned that his initiative for peace in the two Sudans when he was the president is likely to go down the drain should South Sudan become another failed state in the region like Somalia.

Mr Moi is highly respected in South Sudan and also enjoys great leverage with the two protagonists, raising hopes that the two are likely to meet in Kenya outside the Igad framework.

The idea was to have the two to meet each in the presence of a limited audience — minus their retinue of aides, the large Igad contingent, Troika countries and the many observers that have characterised the Addis Ababa talks.

Sources close to the former South Sudanese vice-president told The EastAfrican that by visiting Nairobi, Dr Machar was not only trying to counter Juba’s influence over Igad member states and tell his side of the story, but also wanted to sell his proposal of a federal system of government as the most viable solution to the current conflict.

During his meeting with President Kenyatta, Dr Machar affirmed his commitment and desire to pursue peace for South Sudan and maintained that his negotiation team was prepared to continue with talks in Addis Ababa to find a solution to the political crisis.

Having struck up a rapport with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Dr Machar was on a charm offensive to have Kenya and the rest of the Igad countries hear his side of the story and proposals for peace.

Dr Machar and his group had earlier in the month insisted after the May 9 agreement that there will be no fruitful discussion before withdrawal of the Ugandan troops from South Sudan.

Meanwhile, Dr Machar unveiled a list of envoys to represent his interests in key countries and continents all over the world, given that he cannot use the existing South Sudan diplomatic structure to sell his agenda.

Kenya and Uganda are seeking to safeguard their exports to South Sudan, which is also a key source of employment for their nationals, and are worried about the influx of Sudanese refugees and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

The whirlwind tour of regional capitals by South Sudan’s rebel leader Dr Machar this week could be an indication that a solution for the political crisis in South Sudan could be in the offing. The last time Dr Machar was seen in public he was attending the signing of the May 9 ceasefire agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr Machar, who is said to have jetted in the country on a commercial flight from Addis Ababa on Tuesday, is putting up in a city hotel at the expense of Igad.

Earlier plans to have Dr Machar and South Sudan President Salva Kiir hold a face-to-face meeting in Nairobi this week aborted after Kenya expressed concern that working outside the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) framework of negotiations could complicate issues ahead of the resumption of the Addis Ababa session next week.

The EastAfrican has established that Dr Machar’s Nairobi visit was brokered by Kenya’s retired president Daniel arap Moi, who is also using the government’s diplomatic network to try to get President Kiir to travel to Nairobi for face-to-face talks with Dr Machar.

Kenya’s special envoy to the Sudanese negotiations, Lazarus Sumbeiywo, was dispatched to Juba early in the week to try to get President Kiir to meet with Dr Machar.

Sources say that Mr Moi — having launched the Sudanese peace talks that culminated in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement — is concerned that his initiative for peace in the two Sudans when he was the president is likely to go down the drain should South Sudan become another failed state in the region like Somalia.

READ: Historic 2005 peace deal now at stake

Mr Moi is highly respected in South Sudan and also enjoys great leverage with the two protagonists, raising hopes that the two are likely to meet in Kenya outside the Igad framework.

The idea was to have the two to meet each in the presence of a limited audience — minus their retinue of aides, the large Igad contingent, Troika countries and the many observers that have characterised the Addis Ababa talks.

Sources close to the former South Sudanese vice-president told The EastAfrican that by visiting Nairobi, Dr Machar was not only trying to counter Juba’s influence over Igad member states and tell his side of the story, but also wanted to sell his proposal of a federal system of government as the most viable solution to the current conflict.

During his meeting with President Kenyatta, Dr Machar affirmed his commitment and desire to pursue peace for South Sudan and maintained that his negotiation team was prepared to continue with talks in Addis Ababa to find a solution to the political crisis.

Having struck up a rapport with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Dr Machar was on a charm offensive to have Kenya and the rest of the IGAD countries hear his side of the story and proposals for peace.

Dr Machar and his group had earlier in the month insisted after the May 9 agreement that there will be no fruitful discussion before withdrawal of the Ugandan troops from South Sudan.

Meanwhile, Dr Machar unveiled a list of envoys to represent his interests in key countries and continents all over the world, given that he cannot use the existing South Sudan diplomatic structure to sell his agenda. END


2 Comments

  1. Diplo Guest says:

    A man of peace Dr. Riek Machar has decided to decline from interim government but proposed a caretaker government. Very good ideas Dr. Riek; Dictator Savatore Kiir should also decline and give chance to a caretaker government.

  2. Kong Puok Tongluot - Finland says:

    Dear, Fred Oluoch.

    Indeed, Dr. Riek Machar, not deserved for interim government, he can waits untill trasitional permanantly government election. I definitely agreed with that move, interim government, means that, a neutral board in which to pave perparing constitution, feteral system,, sharing power cretira and security arrangments.If president Salva Kiir Insisted to participate in an interim government, inform that, those who will participate are neutrals they would not be allowed to contest in general elections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.