South Sudan president Salva Kiir says any attempt to reinstate embattled opposition leader Riek Machar to Vice president will continue to breed divisions and another prolonged war.
Machar who is currently in Khartoum was replaced as the country’s first vice president when he left the capital, Juba days after his forces clashed with those loyal to Kiir outside the presidential palace.
President Kiir’s comment are in response to the demand by Inter-government Authority on Development (IGAD) to allow Dr. Machar to return to viceroy of presidency in the Transitional Government of National Unity.
He said if the region wants to see peace in the country, they should give him and new deputy Taban Deng Gai chance to see it happen.
“What is that they want in South Sudan? If it is peace and end of sufferings, they should wait and see whether comrade Taban and I will do. We know our people are suffering and for this comrade Taban and his group have agreed in principle with me to cooperate to implement this agreement”, he said.
Machar spokesperson James Gatdet Dak said such a statement and the recent developments in Juba demonstrate that the July 8, 2016 clashes between opposition and government forces were orchestrated by the regime purposely drive the opposition leader out of Juba or Kill him.
“It is clear that they attempted to kill Dr. Riek Machar on July 8, 2016, and hunted him down for 40 days, in order to replace him with a stooge so that they would dismantle (as they now do) main provisions of the August 2015 peace agreement and return the country to war” Dak said.
Kiir, according to a close aide, opposed diplomatic engagements pushing him to reinstate Machar as first vice president and indicate readiness to work with the latter.
“If they are for peace, they should work with us and the transitional government of national unity to implement this agreement. We do not want more time to be wasted again. If it is because of war is reason they want to send more troops, let them give us and see what we will do and let them talk to Riek to denounce violence and wait elections,” stressed the South Sudanese leader.
When time comes for election, nobody will stop him to contest for whichever position he wants but he should not continue to agitate for war to prolong suffering because he is not part of this government”, he added.
With Files from Sudan Tribune