South Sudan

Pagan Amum Returns to Juba

Pagan Amum on arrival at Juba International Airport on Monday (Photo credit: Radio Tamajuj)

Former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum Okech has returned to Juba, for sale South Sudan, stuff ending over a year in exile in Kenya.

Accompanied by the Kenyan Defense Minister, for sale Pagan arrived in Juba on Monday morning.

He was today expected to hold talks with President Salva Kiir to discuss the implementation of Arusha Reunification Agreement.

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Pagan and other former senior political detainees who were released through Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention during the early days of the conflict in South Sudan will play a bigger role in reconciling the warring factions.

Kenyatta recently announced that the diverse South Sudan peace processes had been merged with the understanding that former SPLM detainees accused of plotting a coup return home to start reconciling President Kiir and rebel leader Mr Riek Machar.

“Today, the two processes have come together and the former detainees who have been in Nairobi are ready to go back home to bring peace back to their country by reconciling the warring leaders,” he said when he addressed a press conference at State House in May.

Pagan Amum, who held senior positions in South Sudan including being the Secretary General of SPLM, said one of the reasons that motivated them to reconcile the warring groups was to pay back President Kenyatta for his efforts to bring peace in their country and for his intervention to have former SPLM leaders freed.

He said President Kenyatta saved their lives when he personally called President Kiir and asked him to release the former detainees to Kenya.

“You have saved our lives from our own hands but what is the use of our lives if we cannot go back and save other lives,” said Mr Amum, who spoke on behalf of the other South Sudanese leaders in the meeting before the press conference.

He said they are not interested in any position in Government but will use all efforts to reunite President Kiir and his former Vice President for the sake of the people.

“It is not moral for us to continue staying in the safety of Kenya because we still bleed when our brothers and sisters die back at home,” he said.

Mr Amum said the peace talks have not made significant progress so far because the South Sudanese leaders, including himself, have been stubborn.

“Your efforts have not failed. We will restore your dignity and the dignity of South Sudan,” said Mr Amum.

Amum said their first task is to unite the SPLM party and to deal with obstacles blocking the IGAD process.


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