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US doesn’t support Riek’s return to position – Booth

Author : | Published: Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ambassador Donald Booth, US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan

The US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan says the United States does not support the return of Dr Riek Machar to assume the position of the First Vice President.

Ambassador Booth told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the sour working relations between President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar will make it difficult to fully implement the peace agreement.

In a subcommittee congressional hearing, Amb Booth said the conflict in July indicate lack of trust and cooperation between the two leaders.

In a testimony which included crimes committed by soldiers and the way forward to achieve justice, reforms and the full implementation of the peace agreement, Amb Booth said it would be inappropriate for Dr Machar to assume his previous positon, now being held by Taban Deng.

“We do not believe it would be wise for Machar to return to his previous position in Juba. That said, it cannot serve as a justification for President Kiir to monopolize power,” he argued.

“What is most urgently needed is creation of a secure space in Juba for inclusive political process to be stored.”

Amb Booth warned South Sudanese leaders outside the country against supporting more violence in the country.

He urged the Transitional Government of National Unity to initiate political dialogue with dissident groups to withhold peace and security.

“I believe what is needed is for South Sudan’s political and military leaders in and out of government to meet together to figure out how to jointly shoulder responsibility for preventing further bloodshed,” the diplomat continued, “however, this can only succeed if those currently in power are willing to accommodate the legitimate interest of others.”

Amb Booth said the US will fully support the deployment of the regional protection force in Juba to allow for open space for political dialogue without presence of the military in the capital.

He proposed that the United States needs to discuss with South Sudanese leaders on how to achieve prosperity in the country.

He said South Sudan is heavily militarized, and that these discussions should include shunning the use of arms to resolve political disagreements.

The Envoy also said the US will support imposition of an arms embargo if the leaders in South Sudan continue to obstruct the implementation of the peace agreement and object the deployment of the regional troops.


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