S. Sudan rebel leader appeals for Museveni’s influence

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar signing the peace accord in Addis Ababa, in August last year

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar signing the peace accord in Addis Ababa, in August last year

Rebel commander in South Sudan and former Vice President Riek Machar has urged Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to use his influence and convince the authorities in the world’s youngest nation to implement the 2015 peace agreement.

Machar made the call Tuesday in the Ugandan capital Kampala during his visit to South Sudan neighbour. While in Uganda, Riek Machar had talks with President Museveni and other top government officials.

“I hope President Museveni will assist us to see the agreement implemented. He played a very big role to see Kiir sign it. I know he has influence in Juba. Let the role he played in the signing continue to the level of implementation,” Machar told reporters in Kampala.

Mr. Machar and other opposition leaders accuse South Sudan President Salva Kiir of getting in the way of the implementation of the recent peace accord with his controversial move of creating 28 states.

Last week South Sudan missed a crucial deadline of forming a transitional unity government as per the peace deal to the chagrin of the international community.

The United States and other Troika partners Norway and UK condemned Kiir’s highly contentious measure calling on all leaders in Juba to stop “partisan bickering” and work towards the implementation of the agreement in the interests of South Sudanese people.

“The Presidential Decree establishing 28 states has created an obstacle to consensus. We urge all parties to make immediate efforts to resolve this impasse and to form the transitional government as soon as possible. It is time for leaders on all sides to put aside partisan bickering and prioritize the interests of the South Sudanese people,” the Troika statement reads in part.

The conflict in South Sudan has claimed hundreds of lives and forced millions out of their homes and country. After months of intransigence on both sides, leaders bowed to regional and international pressure and signed the agreement but the president’s controversial decision is threatening its execution.