From different sources, MAY/12/2018, SSN;
In the latest development, South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has set ONE non-negotiable condition, that his arch-rival and rebel leader of the SPLM/A-IO, Dr. Riek Machar, will only be allowed to return to the country without ONE SINGLE SOLDIER OF HIS.
“Riek Machar can come back to Juba here, but without even a single soldier. If they (IGAD) say he will return with his army, I will never accept,” Kiir said at a ceremony of the army flag handover to the new army chief in Juba on Thursday, as reported by Radio Tamazuj.
The South Sudanese president said he would accept his arch-rival, Riek Machar, to return to the country ONLY as a civilian, vowing he would guarantee his protection and safety in the nation’s capital Juba.
“I told them that you people [regional leaders] Riek Machar is a South Sudanese citizen. As government of South Sudan, we have not cancelled Machar’s citizenship. So I told them to bring Riek Machar,” he said.
Kiir said during the SPLM Liberation Council in Juba recently that he wants his exiled former deputy to return to the country, saying he has FORGIVEN him.
However, it’s not clear whether president Kiir’s declared conditionality is also applicable to the other numerous armed groups in the bushes fighting his government such as Gen. Thomas Cirillo’s NAS, Dr. Lam Akol’s group, Gen. Johnson Oling’s, Gen. Paul Malong latest formed armed group and the others.
Machar fled the capital July 2016 after heavy clashes between his forces and troops allied with President Kiir.
He is being held in South Africa to prevent him from going back to his country. The decision was reportedly taken by the region in order to keep him away in the hope of preventing war in South Sudan.
“We cannot allow our chairman to return to the capital without heavily armed forces that are equal to the forces of the government in Juba,” that was the response to president Kiir’s intransigence and stringent conditionality by Mr. Peter Gatkuoth, the deputy head of Machar’s armed SPLM/A-IO opposition’s information committee to Radio Tamazuj.
The official’s remarks came days after President Salva Kiir publicly admitted he had allowed the rebel leader, currently exiled in South Africa, to return the nation he fled from after the July 2016 skirmishes.
Kiir said this during last week’s National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
Also, while addressing a military parade in Bilpham, the army headquarters in Juba on Thursday, May 10, 2018, president Kiir said his call for Machar’s return comes from THE BOTTOM OF HIS HEART.
“I said it all from my heart and I told the IGAD Council of ministers that ‘DON’T FIND A PLACE ELSEWHERE FOR DR. RIEK MACHAR TO BE TAKEN TO,” Kiir stated, meaning Machar should only be brought to him in Juba.
But Gatkouth said the exiled armed opposition leader needed to be protected especially after what occurred when he returned to Juba in 2015.
“Machar will return to Juba when there is a negotiated peace agreement through the revitalization forum. We are committed to peace because we know our people are suffering,” he stressed.