Sudan’s FM starts regional tour over Kiir-Machar meeting

June 13, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – Foreign Minister al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed will start a regional tour to three IGAD countries to brief its leaders on a recent initiative for peace in South Sudan by President Omer al-Bashir.

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First Vice-President Riek Machar (L) and President Salva Kiir (R) listen to the national anthem following a ceremony during which Machar was sworn in on April 26, 2016. (Phot AFP/Samir Bol)

The which includes Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda aims to brief Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Yoweri Museveni on a meeting between President Salva Kiir and his rival former First Vice President Riek Machar.

“SUNA learned that the tour aims to extend messages to the leaders of the three countries from President Omer al-Bashir on his initiative to achieve peace in South Sudan in the framework of the IGAD efforts,” said the official news agency.

According to SUNA, al-Diridiri will meet Prime Minister Ahmed Ali on Thursday and fly to Mombasa to meet Kenyatta and conclude his tour by a meeting with President Museveni in Kampala on Friday evening.

On 31 May, the IGAD Council of Ministers recommended that a face-to-face meeting between President Kiir and SPLM-Io leader Machar should take place before July 1st.

On 5 June, Sudanese foreign minister announced upon his return from Juba that President Kiir accepted to meet Machar in Khartoum.

Bashir’s initiative to achieve peace in South Sudan within the framework of the IGAD efforts “aims to bring together the parties and urge them to dialogue, overcome differences and bitterness and achieve stability and development in South Sudan,” said SUNA.

No date has been officially announced for the meeting but source close to the file in Khartoum said it would be held on 17 June.

The SPLM-IO on Wednesday 13, June 2018, announced said its leader Machar received an invitation by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to meet President Kiir.

(ST)