(Left) President Salva Kiir
[Juba, South Sudan, TCT]South Sudan President Salva Kiir has said that the peace agreement signed in August 2015 in Ethiopia had not collapsed, despite the absence of his former vice president Dr. Riek Machar.
He was speaking at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, while on his two-day visit to the country to hold bilateral talks with the Egyptian government.
“I want to assure you that the agreement has not collapsed. The First Vice President Taban Deng Gai is working with me very closely, and we are implementing the agreement,” he said.
Speaking in Egypt where he was on a state visit, Kiir blamed Dr. Machar for the violence that erupted in July 2016 in Juba, saying that he (Machar) pretended he was working for peace yet he was not.
“Riek Machar…wanted to formed (sic) a parallel government where he will have his own cabinet outside the cabinet of the national government,” he said.
As a result of the violence that erupted in July 2016, Dr. Machar was forced to flee Juba and he ended up in South Africa. Late last year, Dr. Machar tried to come back to the country but, according to President Kiir, he was prevented by Intergovernmental Authority and Development (IGAD) countries - Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. This forced him to go back to South Africa, where he initially went for treatment.
"Spoilers" meeting in Nairobi
He claimed that there are "spoilers" who are against his government who are currently meeting in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, with the aim of discrediting the implementation of the peace agreement.
“I want to inform you that there are people, the spoilers who are preventing the implementation of the peace agreement, as we speak here, they are holding a conference in Nairobi that the agreement has collapsed and they want the agreement to be renegotiated,” he said while addressing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
However, President Kiir did not offer any evidence to support this claim.
He said that South Sudan will continue to train its military personnel in Egypt and that Egypt will help South Sudan in capacity building in other areas of development.
“This is where most of our cadres today got their education, and this is where we have more than 6,000 students in the higher institutions of education,” Kiir said.
He thanked Egypt for its support at the UN Security Council, which helped to thwart efforts to place sanctions and an arms embargo against the government of South Sudan. These efforts were led by the US but they were resisted by Russia and China, who hold veto power in the Security Council.
President Kiir reiterated that his government was interested in restoring peace to the country so government can protect its citizens and for the country to achieve its development agenda.