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Gov’t rejects request to receive Machar publicly

Author : | Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The government has rejected a request by the SPLM in Opposition for a public reception of Dr Riek Machar in Juba.

It says the reception will be an official event of the government.

Over the weekend, Dr Riek wrote to President Salva Kiir, requesting that he would land at the Juba airport in the morning of the April 18 and meet the President.

He would then take oath of office at the State House J1, and proceed to Garang Mausoleum, where parties to the agreement would hold a joint public rally.

“I’m requesting the visit to the mausoleum to include a public rally that can be jointly conducted by the parties to reassure the people of South Sudan that the implementation of the agreement is on course,” Dr Machar told President Kiir in the letter.

But the government has rejected the request. It said that on arrival, Dr Riek would be taken to his place of residence “to rest”.

“The reception of Dr Riek Machar will be an official event of the Government of South Sudan There will be no public reception or SPLM/A-IO organized event/reception,” said the government in a program line up issued by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Michael Makuei Lueth.

The following day, the state protocol would take him to the Republican Palace, where he would be shown his seat.

Vice President James Wani Igga will be at the State House and both “will wait” for President Salva Kiir. On arrival, the President will “greet” Dr Riek and all in attendance before inviting the Master of Ceremony.

When Dr Riek has been sworn in as First Vice President, he will make his “remarks” before the concluding words from the President.

The three top officials will then pose for a photo to mark the end of the ceremony, after which Dr Riek will proceed to his office.

Dr Riek may request for an audience with the president but any further engagement between the two leaders “shall be in accordance with normal government business.”

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