Machar, Museveni open a new chapter in ‘bilateral relations’

Kampala, January 26, 2015 (SSNA) — Former South Sudanese Vice President and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni have held talks at Masindi State Lodge on Monday over the implementation of the IGAD-Plus’s compromise peace agreement.

The two leaders discussed, among other things, Kiir’s 28 states decree, the lifting of the state of emergency, and the implementation of provisions in the ARCISS.

Machar, who has already returned to Ethiopia on Tuesday evening, rejects Kiir’s 28 states plan and told Museveni that the order number 36 that was issued by South Sudanese President two days after rebel advance team arrived in Juba to start the implementation of the power-sharing deal violates the pact.

Dr. Machar stunned his base when he announced last Sunday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, that he was heading to Kampala.

“…we discussed several issues relating to peace in the Republic of South Sudan and other bilateral issues,” Dr. Machar said in a prepared statement.

Museveni and Machar surprised the public when it was revealed in the declaration that they have agreed to allow their political movements, the Sudan People Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) and Ugandan ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party to open a new chapter in relations.

“The President of the Republic of Uganda and I, have agreed to work to start a new page in relations between the sisterly Movements of the NRM and the SPLM (In Opposition) and between the two leaders of these Movements,” Machar disclosed.

In the meeting, Museveni and Machar also agreed to work for peace in the region through the implementation of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS).

“We have also agreed on consolidation of peace in the region through the implementation of the ARCISS,” he added.

The meeting came after South Sudan’s rebel leader received an invitation letter through the head of Uganda’s External Security Organization (ESO), assuring Machar that the ESO will be fully in charge of organizing his visit to the Republic of Uganda.

The leader of the armed oppostion also states Kiir’s recent statement on the normalization of relations between Juba and Khartoum is a good thing.

However, Machar says he believes that the best way to normalize relations between the two Sudans is to fully ‘implement provisions in the ARCISS and cooperation agreements signed in September of 2012’ because the provisions allow the creation of ‘buffer zone’ along the two countries order.

The face-to-face conference, the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) learned, was a “closed-door” and that some of the topics discussed by the two leaders were not made public.

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