Machar’s Group Walks Out Of Talks In Protest Of Fighting In Nasir

Dr. Riek Machar’s delegation participating at the peace talks in Addis Ababa walked out of the talks on Monday morning in protest of an alleged government offensive in East of Nasir in the past two days.

Machar’s Group Walks Out Of Talks In Protest Of Fighting In Nasir
Government Spokesperson, Michael Makuei speaking to the press in Addis Ababa [Gurtong photo| Ojwe Lumara]

Ojwe Lumara

ADDIS-ABABA, 12 February 2018 [Gurtong]-
Shortly after resumption of the talks on Monday, the delegation of Dr. Riek Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition reported that the government forces have been attacking their position in Nasir, and that if no action is taken then they are boycotting the sitting.

However, the Government Spokesperson, Michael Makuei denied any involvement of the government in the fighting in Nasir.

“The government response is very clear, the rebels of Riek Machar have been attacking civilians and preventing them from entering Nasir and any citizen who enters Nasir, their cattle are taken in the village, the people decided to react to that and in the course of reaction they have been fighting with the rebels for the last two days and today they managed at last to dislodge the rebels and recover their looted cattle,” Makuei said.

Makuei said whatever happened; the government is not a party to it since the fighting has been between SPLA-IO Machar’s faction and civilians.

“The civilians are sometimes better armed than the government and the rebels. So these civilians because of the dispute over their property being taken by the rebels they disagreed and decided to fight the rebels in defense of their property in East of Nasir,” he said.

Makuei said in incase of any alleged violation, they (SPLA IO) should report to Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) but they decided to walk out of the meeting.

However, the Minister of Information Latjor State confirmed to Eye Radio on Monday that fighting between the SPLA and the armed opposition was ongoing.

Makuei reiterated the government’s commitment to the peace process, saying the “government came here fully enforced and authorized to finalize the agreement and go back to South Sudan with the agreement.”

“I appeal to my brothers and sisters in the opposition who have boycotted the meeting now to come back to the table so that we take peace to the people of South Sudan,” he added.

Till 1 PM, the delegates had not yet returned to the discussion room as they consulted among themselves but efforts are ongoing by the mediators and civil society to persuade them to try to come back to the talks.



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