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Uhuru meets army chiefs over South Sudan

President Uhuru Kenyatta at Military games 2013

President Uhuru Kenyatta at Military games 2013

PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday met top military chiefs and foreign relations advisers to discuss the political situation in South Sudan.

The meeting at State House, Nairobi discussed the development of the violence in South Sudan that has killed 1,000 people and displaced many others. State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu made the announcement on his Twitter handle yesterday.

He said the President had reviewed the whole situation yesterday on the phone with presidents Salva Kiir (South Sudan), Yoweri Museveni (Ugandan) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

The meeting came even as the ultimatum regional leaders had issued to rebel leader Riek Machar to embrace a ceasefire expired yesterday. There were reports that rebels had recaptured the town of Bor in Jonglei state from government forces.

Museveni on Sunday visited Juba where he warned Machar to embrace a ceasefire suggested by that country’s government or face “defeat” by the regional forces.

On Friday, leaders from Igad countries held special discussions on the political situation and resolved that the warring parties immediately cease hostilities and embrace dialogue.

Yesterday, the Kenyan Foreign ministry and Igad released a statement stating that Kiir and Machar had agree on a cessation of hostilities and appointed negotiators to develop a monitored and implemented ceasefire.

The statement said General Lazaro Sumbeiywo, one of Igad’s Special Envoys to South Sudan, has been in contact with both parties and expressed the region’s strong desire to support the return of peace and stability in South Sudan.

Sumbeiywo said the talks to be held in Addis Ababa will focus on a monitored ceasefire followed by further dialogue aimed at solving the underlying political problems that led to the emergence of the present confrontation.

Machar had told the media that he particularly wanted the release of suspended SPLM Secretary General, Pagan Amum, before dialogue with Salva Kiir’s government could start.

Yesterday Machar told the BBC he had entered peace talks after his forces captured the key town of Bor. He said he was sending a delegation to Addis Ababa for the talks even though the rebel leader rejected calls for an end to hostilities.

His delegation will be led by Rebecca Nyandeng Garang, the widow of John Garang, who was the founder of SPLA/M.President Kiir has ruled out any power sharing deal with Machar as a way of halting violence.
– The Star

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