Kiir-Machar closed door meeting crumples

Addis Ababa, November 7, 2014 (SSNA) — An IGAD-led closed-door meeting between President Kiir and South Sudanese Former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, has ended without any agreement. The conference subsided after many hours of intense negotiation at the Sheraton Hotel, the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) has learned.

The conference between the two rivals was organized specifically by IGAD heads of States, Special Envoys of the Troika countries (Norway, the United States of America, and United Kingdom), and African Union’s Envoys to South Sudan.

In the meeting, Kiir and Machar engaged in a blistering discussion, with President Kiir asking Machar to drop his rebellion and join his government while Machar lectured kiir on the goodness of federalism and other democratic alternatives that can be utilize to solve the current crisis.

Dr. Machar told gathering that he prefers to seek consultation, adding that the people will decide not him. Machar was accompanied by Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing, the Chairman of External Relations Committee for the SPLM-in Opposition, and Taban Deng Gai, the head of rebel’s negotiation team.

On the government side, President Kiir was accompanied by his Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, and Nhial Deng Nhial, the chief negotiator for the government.

The heated discussion between the two opposing sides left many Observers confused, forcing IGAD to adjourn the meeting for two weeks. IGAD also asked Kiir and Machar to cease hostility.

After the summit, the SSNA talked to Puoch Riek Deng who is the Public Relations Officer for the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SSRRA). Puoch said the way kiir talked at the meeting shows that he is not ready for peace, adding that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in Opposition (SPLM-O) wants peace; he blames Juba for peace failure.

“We are ready for peace, but we are not ready to sign peace with Juba if there is no an agreement that addresses fundamental issues like federalism, constitutional reforms, justice, accountability, and democracy,” Puoch told to the South Sudan News Agency.

"…compensation and repatriation for the victims [of war] is critical to peace in South Sudan; establishing special tribunal which is hybrid in nature to try those who committed atrocities, war crimes and crimes against humanity shall form the basis of just peace," he added.

Among the agendas on the table include power sharing, roles of prime Minister, security arrangement, new constitution, among others. The SSNA has also learned that discussion about power sharing caused the meeting to breakdown.

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