There is something kinky about this situation. At one point Machar was blaming the TPLF not giving him clearance for weapons, at another logistical problems were the reason for his delay. Now we hear that the Kiir regime is not allowing his plane to land.
This comes a day after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed “the decision of the Government of South Sudan to accept the compromise proposal on the arrangements for the return of First Vice President-designate Riek Machar to the country.” The Secretary-general Friday expressed the hope that the deal would enable the swift formation of the transitional unity government.
We strongly feel that the people of South Sudan with their long years of suffering should not put up with this. Moreover, there is the hand of Horn nations in this mess.
Mr. Machar is being offered deals with this side or that. In Kenya, we had reported information, true or not, there were deals offered to him by President Uhuru Kenyatta to make him president of South Sudan, if he delivered the Ilemi Triangle to Kenya. We don’t know his position on that nor veracity of the story, since silence on his side has pervaded the whole thing.
On the TPLF side, there are some deals since the TPLF disliked Kiir; this is because the military brass distrusts him, although they have business interests in South Sudan.
In fact, in the early days of the peace talks in Addis Abeba, Kiir was humiliated by the TPLF’s front man, the man who sits in the Ethiopian prime minister’s office, threatening to detain him unless he signed peace deal with Machar. It’s public knowledge that on arrival in Juba, Kiir told his ordeals in Addis Abeba to his people. We do not think this is forgotten.
All said and done, Kiir is partly responsible for all the mess and those losses of lives, firing the vice president and dissolving party organs. He is a dictator mostly in the making. It is unlikely he could become better president to work in the interest of peace.
Uganda, which has territorial ambitions in South Sudan is also another component of Juba’s problems. Unpredictable as Museveni is, there may be subtle pressures also from his side.
The Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council should sit down for a moment with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and see what needs to be done.
That country’s problem’s cannot be resolved, without the international community taking decisive action, in keeping the interests of peace in the sub-region!
Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
April 23, 2016 (GAMBELLA) – South Sudan’s first vice-president designate, Riek Machar, has been denied permission to land at Juba airport today, Saturday, by the government of President Salva Kiir, his spokesperson has revealed.
The top opposition leader of SPLM-IO who has been in the airport of Gambella waiting for hours and prepared to travel to Juba has been told to wait until Monday, 25 April 2016.
“Dr. Machar is currently at the airport of Gambella as we speak and ready to travel to Juba today, but his plane has been denied permission to land in Juba today, Saturday,” said James Gatdet Dak, press secretary of the opposition leader.
He said Machar arrived at noon time in Gambella from his headquarters in Pagak across the border ready to travel to Juba.
“President Salva Kiir’s regime has just informed the first vice-president designate, Dr. Riek Machar, that they will not allow his plane to land on Saturday or Sunday until Monday,” he said.
Dak said the same situation has also applied with the opposition’s army chief of general staff, General Simon Gatwech Dual, who was supposed to travel to Juba ahead of Machar.
The schedule by the opposition leadership was for General Dual and 195 troops with their “organic weapons” to arrive in Juba at 10:00am in the morning and Machar would follow at 01:00pm.
Earlier, government’s spokesman on Friday said they would first send a team to verify the weapons of the opposition troops before they could grant a landing permission to planes that would carry the troops and the top leadership.
The opposition group has criticized the government for lack of seriousness to implement the peace agreement and called on regional and international peace partners to put pressure on the government to commit to peace.
He said the leadership will wait until Monday to see if the permission to land will be issued by President Kiir’s government.