Previously planned meeting between South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardit and his first deputy Dr Riek Machar Teny in Uganda has allegedly failed because of reservations put forth on Dr Machar’s travel to Uganda by Mr Kiir who reportedly believes that Dr Machar may escape and refuse to return to the country.
A senior member of the main armed opposition group SPLM-IO under Dr Machar said talks were indefinitely adjourned in February because Kiir does not want Dr Machar to leave the country.
“When we were informed, we accepted the invitation and we were preparing for a team to travel along with the FVP to Uganda so as to attend that very important meeting to iron out issues to do with the transitional period,” one opposition official who requested not to be named said.
“But because of the insistence by President Salva Kiir Mayardit that Dr Riek should only delegate officials to the meeting over fears that he may not return home has failed that initiative which would have paved way for clear path towards the end of the transitional period,” he added.
The meeting, Ugandan officials had said in February, was meant to bring together the parties to the revitalised peace agreement as stalemate over crucial talks has continued throwing the possibilities for an election to unknown fate.
Mr Kiir and his group are calling for elections at the end of the transitional period, but Dr Machar’s SPLM-IO and other opposition groups sees conduct of election not possible without the implementation of key provisions of the revitalised peace agreement especially chapter two of the deal.
Regional and international communities have called for timely implementation of the agreement so as to enable for conduct of a free and fair election, but Mr Kiir has blamed the international community’s arms embargo and sanctions for delay of the agreement.