President Kiir, Machar had rare conversation for the first time

President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Deputy Dr. Riek Machar were seen sharing ideas on January 30, 2021 |Photo: File

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Deputy, Dr. Riek Machar, were seen on Saturday having normal conversations and exchanging views for the first time since the formation of the coalition government.

The key leaders were applauded on social media for showing a positive gesture and sharing ideas on current issues affecting the world’s youngest nation.

They were also encouraged to continue holding similar meetings as part of the trust-building effort as the nation is seen slowly getting back on the right track.

“This is actually encouraging, I hope they will continue with the same spirit and understanding,” said a social media user identified as Emmanuel Chol D.

Since the outbreak of the conflict in mid-December 2013, Kiir and Machar have had a bad working relationship and the two have never exchanged views on how to tackle the country’s deep-seated problems.

“Such a positive interaction between our leaders is a sigh of relief for the people of South Sudan, I wish the newly appointed Governor and his Deputy the best of luck as they begin the first phase of reconciliation in Upper Nile State,” another user wrote in the comments section.

South Sudan’s leaders signed an agreement in September 2018 aimed at ending years of violence that has driven millions from their homes and outside the country.

However, the implementation of key components of the agreement fall behind schedule, including security arrangements, the formation of Hybrid Court, and the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly.

Last week, the R-JMEC called on the parties to accelerate the graduation of the Unified Forces that are currently undergoing training in cantonment areas.

“We believe that the successful implementation of PCTSA is a guarantee to a permanent foundation of enduring peace in the South Sudan. Protracted delays and passing of time without progress is detrimental to the overall situation in South Sudan,” said peace guarantors in a joint statement.

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