Monday December 11, 2017

Kenyatta remains composed despite unsuccessful meeting between Kiir and Machar

President Uhuru Kenyatta (Photo: AFP)

NAIROBI – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta remains defiant about his effort to reunify the fractured SPLM party and bring about peaceful settlement to the conflict in South Sudan, despite “the less than convincing” meeting he chaired between the former Vice President of South Sudan, Dr Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir Mayardiit in State House in the last two days.

Kenyatta, a rapporteur to the ongoing IGAD brokered peace process called the two warring principals to the State House last week to find a common ground of agreement so as to bring peace to South Sudan through both the SPLM reunification and power sharing deal in Addis Ababa.

Kenyatta recently succeed in convincing Salva Kiir to accept the former detainees into their previous party positions. Last week, Former Secretary General, Pagan Amum Okiech was reinstated in his position and sworn in before Kiir at the SPLM house. The former secretary general then denounced his faction as no longer former detainees but part of the ruling SPLM party. Other exiled former detainees were also reinstated but didn’t take the oath.

Kenyatta further appreciated the reinstatement and wished that a similar thing can be done with the SPLM in Opposition members of the politburo and liberation council.

“A few days ago, at my intervention, all former South Sudanese detainees returned home to Juba and have already been restored to their party positions within the SPLM, ranging from the party’s Secretary-General to ranking members of the Politburo and National Liberation Movement” – Kenyatta said in a Facebook update.

Kenyatta believed that with time, SPLM will reunite again as one big family.

UNSUCCESSFUL MEETING

The meeting chaired by Kenyatta and between Kiir and Machar didn’t produce any tangible results as the meeting was marred by chaos of bitterness and accusations.

In the meeting, Machar maintained that there has to be compensation and reparation on people devastated by the conflict starting with the Juba massacre. He also said the issue of accountability has to be on the forefront of the agendas being negotiated in Addis and that his reinstatement to the party should just be the last resort. He also said that institutional reforms that target police, security, government and army must be the important facets of the lasting peace. He added that federalism is the main selling point the South Sudanese demands now and without it, there will be repetition of the crisis in the near future. Kenyatta however agreed on the Machar’s demands saying they have been some of the main topics in the negotiation table.

Kiir however was unmoved saying it was not his government’s position. He said that he delegated the Foreign Minister Marial to the recent African Union summit to present the position of his government to the African leaders. He said that his government rejected the recent power sharing proposal made by IGAD mediators and will not bide by it.

Kenyatta then called the meeting off as the trio set for more than 5 hours without any tangible solution watched on by their aids.
Kenyatta put this statement out on his Facebook page today to detail his intention for peace in South Sudan.

“…I invited the two leaders to reflect on the issues that unite them, which are bigger than those that separate them. I invite the leaders to reflect on the fact that they did not fight for 50 years for their independence so that their country could disintegrate before their own eyes. I invite both leaders to seize the hour for the cause of peace in South Sudan.
I urged, my brother President Kiir and my brother Dr Machar to keep the suffering of their people in mind every day, every hour, every minute, every second. Their people are our people too. We want them to live in peace and prosperity and the two leaders hold the key to peace in South Sudan.” – Kenyatta’s statement reads.

The two warring factional leaders are expected to come face to face again in Arusha (Tanzania) this week to continue on the issues of party reunification.

THE UPPER NILE TIMES

Times Wire Staff
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