South Sudan’s rebel leader calls on his rival to attend peace talks; reaffirms his commitment

Addis Ababa, February 26, 2015 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s Rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar, has on Thursday called on President Salva Kiir to come to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to take part in the ongoing final peace negotiations.

The call comes a week after Kiir suddenly refused to attend what the IGAD called final round of peace talks.

In a press statement extended to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), the former South Sudan Vice President calls on Kiir to listen to the voices of suffering people of South Sudan and urges him to immediately come to Ethiopia and participate in the peace process.

“I call on President Salva Kiir to heed the cries of our people for peace. It is time he packed his suitcase and came to Addis Ababa such that together we quickly work out the terms of the peace agreement before the date line set by the IGAD mediators,” Dr. Machar said in the statement.

Machar also pledges to work hard for a peaceful solution to the conflict and reiterates his commitment to peace.

“I want to reaffirm my commitment and the commitment of SPLM/SPLA to the IGAD mediated process…,” he added.

Machar further stated that peace process must be speed up so that the suffering people of South Sudan can rebuild their lives and live in peace.

“I am aware of the immense suffering the war brought to bear on the people of South Sudan. This is time to procrastinate but to expedite the peace agreement such that our people reunite, recreate their lives in peace and harmony and we restore law and order to South Sudan,” Machar said.

IGAD-mediated talks have resumed in Ethiopia. However, Kiir failed to show up, drawing criticisms from the international Community.

Last week, South Sudan’s government asserted that Kiir will not attend the final stage of peace negotiations, claiming rebel forces under Dr. Machar have broke up into groups. Rebels denied the allegations.

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