Addis Ababa, June 13, 2018 (SSNA) — South Sudanese rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar will meet face-to-face with Salva Kiir on June 20 in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the armed opposition said on Wednesday.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) has confirmed the report, saying the chairman of the Intergovernmental Authority on the Development (IGAD) Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali invites Machar to meet Kiir in Addis Ababa.
“The leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) acknowledges receipt of the invitation letter sent by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, requesting the presence of the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO), Dr. Riek Machar Teny-dhuorangun, for IGAD led face-to-face talks with President Salva Kiir on the 20th of June 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” SPLM-IO National committee Chairman for information and public relations Mabior Garang de Mabior said in a statement.
“The Movement welcomes this invitation and salutes the courage of IGAD for reaching this prudent and timely decision, it will go a long way in building confidence in the peace process,” he added.
However, the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) was not informed of the exact date the rebel leader will arrive in Ethiopia.
Machar has been in forced house detainment in South Sudan since November 2016.
Rebels have consistently say Machar forced exile is wrong and accused some IGAD member countries of accepting bribes from Kiir’s government in exchange to keep Dr. Machar out of South Sudan.