Despite not meeting for two years and having been invited to the negotiation table by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) for a face-to-face dialogue, the main actors of the South Sudan conflict, rebel leader Riek Machar (PhD) and President Salva Kiir, have concluded their meeting in Addis Ababa yesterday yet again failing to reach a definite agreement to end the conflict that have caused the deaths of thousands of South Sudanese in the past few years.
This came on the hill of the gathering of the ministerial council of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regarding South Sudan and that saw heads of state of IGAD member countries attend, including those from Kenya, Somalia and Sudan. The meeting is said to be instrumental to solve a deodorizing situation to Africa’s newest independent nation. The conflicts have so far produced the most destitute refugees in the world, next to Afghanistan and Syria. Thousands have crossed to the Ethiopian side of the border between the two nations, notably into the Gambella Regional State looking for shelter.
Kiir’s government is said to not want the rebel leader, Machar, from participating in the future negotiations platforms that is due to start in three days in Khartoum, Sudan, followed by one in Nairobi, Kenya and a finally meeting in Addis Ababa to hammer out details of an agreements to end the war. The government has blamed its one-time Vice President for causing much of the misfortune of the resource-rich nation and getting on the way of a lasting peace.
According to the acting minister of Foreign Affairs, Martin Elia, the IGAD Heads of State and Governments have asked that he take part in the negotiations among the three nations and be stationed outside of the region and far from the country.
“Machar shall be relocated outside of the region and not in any country near South Sudan”, the acting minister declared at a hastily arranged press conference at Sheraton Addis. “I confirm there will be a Vice President position created to accommodate the opposition, but it will certainly not be Machar himself”.
Meanwhile, Manchar’s party issued a reply saying the vision of South Sudan has been downgraded and his role in the future of South Sudan.
“This bad politics is from a known peace spoiler, and it is only intended to derail the peace process,” it said. It called on the public to “dismiss these statements as those from anti-peace agents in the regime.”
He has been held under house arrest in South Africa since he left South Sudan in 2016.
The conflicts in the nation that gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 have caused lasting damages to its infrastructures; foreign investments that seemed promising seven years ago have dried up, the United States, one of its partners in aid have suspended its ital support and isolated it from the rest of the world.
It has also struggled to pay for its government services, most recently taken to court in Addis Ababa by its landlords over rental arrears, its passport issuing company in Germany has blocked its access to issue passports and it has not been able to make its hard-sought independence celebrations for lack of funds.