JUBA – South Sudan’s government made a surprise u-turn to allow Salva Kiir leave for Addis Ababa after immense pressure from IGAD and international community.
Kiir, one of the principal warring party to the South Sudan conflict will leave for Addis Ababa at 9:30 PM tonight to face off with his former Vice President, Dr Riek Machar in a make or break deal expected to end the 20 months old civil war in the world’s newest country.
Kiir was advised last week by his Ministers and Jieng Council of Elders (a tribal group of elders accused of tribal interests) not to go to Addis Ababa because of fear that he might be forced to sign peace by the international community. Kiir then decided to delegate his deputy, Wani Igga to the talks to join up with the negotiators there.
Kiir also called a meeting this Sunday to meet with senior government and SPLM officials at J1. The meeting was said to have been called off to allow Kiir to fly to Addis Ababa on time. The meeting was to discuss ways for peace and necessary compromises on IGAD document. The meeting was also to discuss any possibility of arrests if the two principals fail to sign peace as expected by the international community on the specified date.
General Malong Awan and some unidentified military Generals at Bilpham over the past 2 days threatened Kiir with revolt if he signs any peace agreement with Machar. On Friday night, Malong deployed troops around sensitive neighbourhoods housing senior government officials. Kiir and his aids saw this as a way to make a coup. Kiir then ordered a special force from Warrap and Lakes State. The special army arrived this morning (Sunday) in Juba to counter any unnecessary turn of events. The special force commander assured Kiir that orders will be maintained if Malong group decided to make any unexpected move.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES