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ADDIS ABABA - 28 Nov 2019

Machar in Ethiopia to meet regional leaders

South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar [Photo credit: Reuters]
South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar [Photo credit: Reuters]

South Sudan's exiled opposition leader Riek Machar left Sudan Wednesday for Ethiopia where he is expected to meet several regional leaders.

Machar, leader of the opposition group Sudan People's Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO), resides in Khartoum but cannot travel to the other IGAD countries without permission.

Peter Manawa Gatkuoth, deputy spokesman of the SPLM-IO, told Radio Tamazuj this morning that Machar will meet a number of regional leaders at the sidelines of the ongoing IGAD meetings in Addis Ababa.

The opposition official complained that they have not made substantive progress on implementation of critical tasks since the pre-transitional period was extended by 100 days earlier this month.

“We are not part of the ongoing IGAD meetings in Addis Ababa, but we will hold sideline meetings with IGAD leaders there,” he explained.

Manawa emphasized the need for transparency and accountability in the implementation of the peace agreement, saying they are not aware of the 40 million USD released by the government recently.

The deputy spokesman urged the government to release the remaining money to fund the implementation process. He also called on the government to show political will to implement the peace deal.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, opposition leader Riek Machar and a handful of other opposition groups signed a peace deal in September 2018. The rival leaders had been unable to create a unified army and determine the number of states since the deal was signed.

On November 7, Kiir and Machar agreed to give themselves another 100 days beyond the November 12 deadline to form a unity government.