South Sudan rebel chief Machar rubbishes national dialogue

Monday October 16 2017

Former South Sudan vice president Riek Machar.

Former South Sudan vice president Riek Machar: Former vice-president insists on the Igad initiative to restore peace. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By JOSEPH ODUHA
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South Sudan's armed opposition leader Riek Machar has rubbished the national dialogue and instead insisted that the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) peace process be revitalised.

Dr Machar, who last Thursday declined to meet the national dialogue delegation in South Africa for the second time, reiterated that the Igad process was a better way of ending the violence in the war-torn South Sudan.

The Juba opposition leader communicated his hard-line position through South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The co-chair of the South Sudan National Dialogue Steering Committee, Mr Angelo Beda, aid the former first vice-president, had no interest in the national dialogue

"I think the reason why Dr Machar refused to meet the national dialogue team in South Africa is that he prefers revitalisation of the peace agreement," Mr Beda said.

Mr Beda insisted that the national dialogue was not in anyway contradicting the peace revitalisation process.

He urged the opposition leader to embrace the dialogue to end bloodshed in the country and restore peace and stability.

The landlocked South Sudan has been at war since 2013.

The war has caused one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, with more than 2 million people becoming refugees in the neighbouring countries.

Both President Kiir and Dr Machar were accused by The Sentry report of profiting from the war at the expense of civilians.

The Sentry is a team of policy analysts, regional experts and financial forensic investigators that advocates consequences for those funding and profiting from genocide or other mass atrocities in Africa.