AU Wants Machar to Return to Juba

Riek Machar in Kampala recently

The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, try generic Ambassador Smail Chergui has appealed to the South Sudan rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar to return to the capital Juba to quicken the peace agreement implementation process.

Ambassador Chergui made the appeal while meeting at the Chairman of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), online former Botswana President Festus Mogae, sick and his deputy, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Guinea, Mr. Francois Lounceny Fall at AU Headquarters Addis Ababa.

The high level meeting was to discuss the outcomes of the 4th JMEC meeting and the current status of the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) signed in August 2015.

Ambassador Chergui was told of the recent decision by the Government of South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army – In Opposition (SPLM/A –IO), the SPLM Leaders and other Stakeholders to establish the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) as outlined in the ARCSS. The two Officials concurred that such a decision was an illustration of the importance the South Sudanese attach towards resolving their country’s crisis.

Commissioner Chergui, on behalf of the AU Commission, expressed gratitude to the members of the JMEC, especially its Chairperson, for tirelessly working towards the full promotion of peace and security
for the benefit of the South Sudanese citizens who have suffered immensely over the years.

The Commissioner underscored that it was critical for Dr. Reik Machar to return to Juba, capital of South Sudan, to take up his position as First Vice President, given that this will give impetus to the implementation process of the ARCSS.

In conclusion, the Chairperson of JMEC was assured of the AU Commission’s continued support, to ensure that the new spirit espoused by the South Sudanese leaders will rekindle an environment which is conducive for reconciliation, compromise and good will, as pillars for the successful implementation of the ARCSS.

The JMEC Chair expressed his appreciation for the continued support by the AU Commission, especially through the AU High Representative, former President Alpha Oumar Konare. President Mogae looked forward to receiving further support from the AU High Level Ad Hoc Committee.

However, while on a short visit in Kampala last month, Riek Machar vowed to return to Juba only when the peace agreement has become a law.

“Going to Juba is very simple and I should have been there by yesterday. The peace agreement I signed with president Kiir has not been included into our Transitional Constitution,” he said.

“Even now I can travel direct to Juba. I just don’t want to be idle. I can only go there when things are in motion otherwise I would be doing nothing.”


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