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Machar urges reconciliation, forgiveness among citizens


December 16, 2020 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s First Vice President and opposition leader, Riek Machar has urged the country’s citizens all over the world to reconcile and forgive one another.

Riek Machar (AFP file photo)

He made the remarks on Tuesday as the country marked the seventh anniversary of the December 15, 2013 outbreak of a bloody civil war.

“In this light, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) leadership reiterates its last year’s call upon our people to start the process of reconciliation and forgiveness among themselves so that they can live in peace and harmony as one people in one nation with one social contract that shall lead them to build a prosperous, peaceful and united country guided by principles of democracy, justice and liberty anchored in a federal system of governance in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected,” remarked Machar.

An outbreak of the deadly conflict, which lasted for nearly five years, saw thousands of people killed, millions displaced internally and into neighbouring nations and caused massive destruction.

The armed opposition leader reiterated his commitment to peace in the country.

“There is no going back to war. Peace is our strategic choice”, he said, stressing that it is time to consolidate peace, justice and stability.

Machar, however, acknowledged the delays in the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement, attributing it to fall in oil prices resulting to lack of funding of the implementation process, the pandemic of Corona Virus and the political will.

“Despite these difficulties, we are pushing forward for the implementation of the Agreement,” he stressed.

According to the top opposition leader, the first batch of the Necessary United Forces will be graduated soon, adding that the implementation security mechanism is working around the clock to make this graduation possible.

According to the September 2018 peace deal, government and opposition forces were supposed to canton, register, and train unified forces during a 3-year transitional period leading into elections.

Until now, however, creating a unified army in word’s newest nation and determining the number of states and their boundaries remain the biggest challenges in the peace agreement.


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