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RAILA ODINGA TO MEET RIEK MACHAR IN SOUTH AFRICA

 

Nairobi, 6 June 2018; After his announced trip to Juba to meet President on 24 May, this reporter has learned Raila Odinga, the main Kenyan opposition leader is expected to travel to South Africa, somehow within this week to meet with rebel leader Riek Machar.  

However, South Sudan's belligerent outspoken information minister Michael Makuei Lueth who doubled as government spokesperson said, he expects Odinga to have a firm grasp of the contentious issues between the warring parties before he meets with South Sudanese main rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar.

Makuei said he expects Odinga to persuade Riek Machar to denounce violence before he could be allowed to return home as an ordinary citizen. 

"The first and most important thing is the denunciation of hostilities. He [Odinga] needs to know what plans others have in mind. Within these proposals that have been presented, some of them are almost impossible to implement, and they don't in any way amount to reaching peace soon. So, he should actually work to soften the position of the opposition," Makuei was quoted as saying. 

According to Makuei, he Riek Machar positions and demands are deemed unacceptable. Among others Makuei said Machar's demand to the disbandment of all the security organs and handing over to UNMISS [U.N. Mission in South Sudan] he said these are unrealistic and non-negotiable. 

He added other conditions set by Machar's team in failed peace talks including the demands of dissolution of the national parliament. “ When you say the parliament should be dissolved, and then the seats will be allocated to us again so that we appoint new members to the parliament in accordance with the parties and power-sharing formula, definitely you are creating another problem," said Makuei. 

Makuei said the Kiir administration expects Odinga's initiative to complement peace talks led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which ended without agreement last month in Ethiopia.  

Source closed to Kenyan government says President Uhuru Kenyatta is opting for the different approach to end the fighting in South Sudan. It is expected Raila Odinga is to inject fresh idea to convince the two antagonistic former rebel leaders who now hold the country hostage.

Odinga unanounced trip to Juba on 24 May was kept in absolute secrecy, Uhuru's initive through his special Peace envoy to South Sudan is aim to convince President Kiir and his former deputy Dr. Riek Machar to usher peace accord.  

Raila Odinga who twice lose Kenyan Presidential elections to Uhuru the son of first Kenyan President Jommo Kenyatta, the bitterly disputed Presidential election results which brutalized and polarized Kenyan along Kenyatta's Kikuyu and Raila's Ja'luo ethnics according to human rights watch has left more than 92 dead mainly from Odinga's camp on the hands of Kenyan police. 

The two-man reconciled closely three weeks ago, and Kenyatta according to the source who spoke to this reporter in a condition of anonymity said President Kenyatta appoints Odinga as his special peace Envoy to South Sudan. 

Joshua Onyango 

SSLN

 

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