Riek Machar Sure South Sudan?s Peace Deal Will Hold

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar expressed confidence that the recently signed peace deal between the country's warring parties would withstand despite exchanged accusations of ceasefire violation.

South Sudan's government says Machar is directing rebels from his hiding position in the bush [Reuters]
South Sudan's government says Machar is directing rebels from his hiding position in the bush [Reuters]

“There is no way out for the two parties other than implementing the peace deal we signed last August. For our part, we are committed to carrying it out since we have accept it,” Machar told Xinhua Saturday in an exclusive interview in Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

South Sudan's government says Machar is directing rebels from his hiding position in the bush [Reuters]
South Sudan’s government says Machar is directing rebels from his hiding position in the bush [Reuters]
“Salva Kiir has no choice but to implement the agreement, because the deal has guarantees from the region, the IGAD and the international community,” he noted.

Machar signed the peace deal on Aug. 17 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit signed it on Aug. 26 in Juba.

Nevertheless, the two sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the ceasefire agreement which aims to end violence in the newly-born state.

On Thursday, the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development in Africa (IGAD) said the South Sudanese government violated the ceasefire by attacking rebel positions in Upper Nile state on Sept. 2.

Machar downplayed the exchanged accusations of ceasefire violations, saying “It is true that there are violations, but they will not lead to the collapse of the agreement.”

“All violations are committed by the government forces. There are still battles in the oil-rich Unity State which is under our control. There are systematic and continued attacks by the government army on our positions in Upper Nile State,” Machar noted.

“Despite these systematic and continued violations, the agreement will withstand and we will overcome those violations,” he added.

Machar said IGAD mediators and the international community have put pressures on the two parties to sign the agreement despite their reservation.

“We have about 12 objections on the agreement and the other party has similar reservation, but we have accepted it due to the pressures exercised on us,” explained Machar.

He also commended the desire of the international community to achieve peace in South Sudan and end the suffering of the South Sudanese people.

Machar expressed appreciation of China’s positive stance towards the realization of peace in South Sudan.
“China has adopted a neutral stance towards the conflict and played a positive role, namely by hosting a workshop in Khartoum about the horizons of peace in South Sudan,” said Machar.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013 when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and defectors led by his former deputy Riek Machar.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension, pitting president Dinka’s tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The clashes killed thousands of South Sudanese and forced around 1.9 million individuals to flee their homes.
As for the massive death and displacement, Machar held the South Sudan’s politicians responsible for the sufferings of the South Sudanese citizens due to the continued war.

“What is happening to our people is caused by the continued war,” said Machar, vowing efforts to end the war, sustain the peace and achieve the aspirations of the South Sudanese people. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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