Machar Give Conditions For His Return to Juba

1790 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
James Dak Gatdet, the spokesperson of Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement in Opposition-SPLMIO, says President Salva Kiir has lost control of his troops.

Dr. Riek Machar, the First Vice President of South Sudan says he will only return to Juba when a peace keeping force is deployed.

James Dak Gatdet, the spokesperson of Sudan People's Liberation Movement in Opposition-SPLMIO, says once the peace keeping force is deployed, Machar will assume his position as First Vice President.

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Machar fled the country last week after fighting broke out between soldiers loyal to him and those of President Slava Kiir. The two principals however unilaterally declared ceasefire on July 11. 

Gatdet says Machar didn't leave South Sudan after losing but he didn't want to engage in the renewed fighting.  According to Gatdet, the mandate of the proposed peace keeping force or African Union troops should be made stronger to maintain peace in South Sudan.  He accuses President Kiir of backtracking on the peace agreement signed in Ethiopia last year.

President Kiir has however rejected the deployment of African Union troops, which has the mandate to oversee peace and security on the continent. Michael Makuei, the South Sudan government spokesperson, says they are totally opposed to the decision by the African Union to deploy troops in the country, saying they will consider it as an invasion by AU member states.
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He says the South Sudan leadership was not consulted before the decision to deploy troops in its territorial boundaries was reached.

According to Makuei, South Sudan is relatively peaceful and the deployment of soldiers in the name of peace keeping will only make the situation worse. Recently, the African Union approved a resolution to deploy peace keeping troops in South Sudan.

Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda were selected to contribute troops for the mission. There are already 12,000 UN peace keepers in South Sudan. 

Meanwhile a handful of South Sudanese took to the streets today to protest the planned deployment of an African peacekeeping force in their country.


About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.