South Sudan rebel leader, Riek Machar, says he has reached an agreement with President Yoweri Museveni in the quest for South Sudan peace.
Mr Museveni last evening received and held a meeting with Dr. Machar who called on him at Masindi State Lodge in Masindi municipality.
Mr Museveni is camped in Masindi and Hoima where he is campaigning as NRM presidential candidate in the forthcoming national elections.
Dr. Riek Machar who arrived in the country with his 15 member delegation that included Ms. Angelina Teny the Chairperson of SPLM national committee for Security and Defense, Ambassador Ezekeil Lol Gatkuoth the SPLM chairperson for the national committee on foreign affairs and Dr. Peter Odwok the SPLM national chairperson for the committee for training and research among other, briefed President Museveni on the progress and steps so far taken to fully implement the negotiated peace process in South Sudan.
President Museveni and his guest also discussed a number of issues pertaining to the political, economic, security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan as well as the role and mandate of the Inter-Governmental Authority on development in bringing about lasting peace in South Sudan.
Machar on Tuesday told press in Kampala that during the meeting with Museveni, the two leaders agreed on three major things.
Firstly, Machar said, the two proposed a cooperative between the ruling NRM and the SPLM [IO] movements.
“We have agreed to work to start a new page in relations between the sisterly movements of the NRM and the SPLM [IO] and between the two leaders of these movements,” he told press at Khalifa Suites in Bugolobi, a Kampala suburb.
Secondly, they agreed that President Salva Kiir’s creation of 28 states was an impediment towards the implementation of the peace agreement and the formation of the unity government.
“Usually, it would have been us the rebels being accused of frustrating peace but it is President Kiir who is failing the agreement,” Machar said.
He said the August 2015 peace agreement was based on 10 states and not the 28 current states of South Sudan.
Asked what he would do if Kiir ignored his call for scrapping of the states, Machar said he would refer the agreement back to IGAD.
“I will refer it [agreement] back to the regional leaders. It is them who drafted the peace terms. That is why I came to see President Museveni.”
Machar said Museveni having realized that there was no coup in South Sudan started playing a mediation role and should hence continue and ensure the peace agreement is implemented.
Thirdly, Machar and Museveni agreed on consolidation of peace in the region through implementation of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS).
Under this, the two agreed to ask Kiir lift the state of emergency which restricts the movement of the opposition advance team.
Machar said because of the emergency, his officials were prevented from leaving Juba to attend the historic meeting with President Museveni.
Even Mabior Garang, son to founder John Garang, also the spokesperson of SPLM [IO] was first restricted but later managed to make it to Uganda.
Going to Juba
Machar said he will only go to the capital Juba to assume his position as first vice president only if the peace agreement is implemented.
“I can go to Juba even now. But I don’t want to be idle there. I want to do some work and that is after the peace agreement has been implemented.”
Machar said that was the major reason he flew to Uganda to ask Museveni “assist us in the implementation of the peace.”