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Include Riek in peace deal implementation – UN

Author : Junior Ali | Published: Monday, September 26, 2016

Hervé-Ladsous, UN Undersecretary for Peacekeeping.

The UN Undersecretary for Peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, says there is a need for the former First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar to be included in the process of the implementation of the peace agreement.

Mr Ladsous made the statement following a meeting of senior diplomats on South Sudan at the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly on Friday last week, as reported by the Reuters News Agency.

Dr Machar fled Juba following clashes between the SPLA and his troops in July.

Since then, he has not returned to Juba, and is currently based in Khartoum.

The government earlier said Dr Machar can only return to Juba if he denounces violence and stays away from practicing politics.

It said if Dr Machar insists on wanting to practice politics, he should return during the 2018 General Elections.

Similarly, the US government believes that Dr Machar should not return to Juba as First Vice president, as this would derail the implementation of the agreement.

However, in a statement, Mr Herve Ladsous says Dr Machar is still very relevant to the politics of the country.

“Clearly (Machar) is, I think somebody said in the meeting just now, he is not dead politically by a long way, he’s there, I mean he’s out of the country, but he does represent a very important element of the South Sudanese community,” Ladsous told reporters.

Mr Herve says this was also a concern for some diplomats during a high-level discussion on South Sudan at the sideline of the UN General Assembly summit.

He noted that without inclusivity, this could affect the implementation of the peace agreement.  The government is yet to comment on the UN concern.

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