“We’re not returning to war”, Machar reassures doubting Thomases

Chairman of the SPLM-IO Dr. Riek Machar and the First Vice-President of South Sudan calls for peace and forgiveness |Photo: File
   By: Buay Kapduel Buol 

Dec 16, 2020 (Thessherald)–Speaking on the eve of the 7th Anniversary of the 2013 Nuer Massacre, the Chairman of the SPLM-IO, Dr. Riek Machar has called for peace, unity and above all ‘forgiveness‘ in order to heal the deep wounds inflicted during the conflict.

“The year, we declare the week starting [on] 15th December as a week [of] reconciliation and forgiveness amongst our people worldwide.”

“In the light of this, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) leadership reiterates its last year’s call upon our people to start the process of reconciliation and forgiveness among themselves so that they can live in peace and harmony as one people in one nation with one social contract that shall lead them to building a prosperous, peaceful and united country guided by principles of democracy, justice and liberty anchored in a federal system of governance in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected,” said Dr. Riek Machar in a statement.

Machar reassures the nation that despite the odds and obstacles during this implementation period, there is light at the end of the tunnel and that peace must eventually reign.

“There have been delays in the implementation of the Agreement.
There are many reasons for the slow implementation of the agreement, including [the sharp drop in oil prices] that has also resulted in the lack of funding for the implementation process, Covid-19 pandemic and lack of political will. Despite these difficulties, we are pushing for implementation of the agreement.”

“Despite these difficulties we are pushing forward for the implementation of the Agreement.”

He also hopes that the parties will reach a mutual consensus on the long-awaited appointment of General Johnson Olony before the end of this month.

“I am also optimistic that the government of Upper Nile State and its counties shall be formed before the end of the year. With peace prevailing, I am likewise confident that the security arrangement will be implemented.

He further noted that, “the first batch of the Necessary United Forces will be graduated soon.” The implementation security mechanism are working around the clock to make this graduation possible, although there are some impediments that the R-TGoNU will have to surmount.”

Mid-December 2013 marked the beginning of the conflict in South Sudan, which has claimed more than 400,000 lives and displaced millions from their homes.

South Sudan’s government and opposition groups signed the R-ARCSS in September 2018, ushering in the formation of a coalition government in February this year.