South Sudan

Machar, Igga, Amum Turned Down at White House

Machar in Addis Ababa recently for the peace talks

The South Sudan rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar, order Vice President Wani Igga and the ruling SPLM party Secretary General, salve Pagan Amum were on Tuesday turned down at the White House.

The trio who recently attended the United Nations General Assembly meeting and later a special sitting on the crisis in South Sudan, on Tuesday converged at the United States official residence of the president, White House to meet a number of officials of Barack Obama’s administration.

The most important meeting was scheduled with the US National Security Advisor, Ms Susan Rice but the White House mysteriously cancelled the special convention without explanation.

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According to diplomatic sources, the meeting was supposed to look into the implementation of peace agreement signed in August this year but also more importantly the undercurrents hampering the peace process.

Wani Igga who also represented President Salva Kiir at the US General Assembly was to represent his superior again at the White House meeting while Dr. Machar and Pagan Amum were to attend in their own capacities.

The officials reached White House two hours before the scheduled time to avoid any unforeseen eventuality.

However after three hours of waiting on the bench, no one from the State Department or National Security had approached them.

After five hours of waiting, the White House, sent Donald Booth – US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan who is also still in Washington.

According to sources, smiles finally returned to the faces of the three men when Booth arrived and immediately started a chat.

They all thought it was a briefing before setting foot in the office of Ms. Rice, a powerful female figure in US who only missed becoming the Secretary of State because of the Benghazi attack that claimed the lives of US Libyan ambassador and three other diplomatic corps.

The chat turned into a disappointment when Mr Booth simply told D. Machar, Wani and Amum that officials from Ms. Rice’s office had cancelled the meeting.

Sources said Ms Rice who recently accompanied Obama to the region and also attended a special meeting on South Sudan crisis in Ethiopia before the signing of the peace deal, is not at ease with current situation in the world’s youngest nation.

“The continued escalation of hostilities in South Sudan is a nightmare to everyone in Washington including the National Security Advisor herself who has closely followed the events in that part of the world,” a diplomatic source who asked not to be named, said.

The immediate and permanent cessation of hostilities that was agreed by both parties during the signing of the agreement has been breached and fighting is continuing in the oil rich states of Unity and Upper Nile.


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