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Threatening to return to war is unacceptable - South Sudan warns Machar

Threatening to return to war is unacceptable - South Sudan warns Machar

South Sudan

The government of south Sudan has cautioned its former First Vice President Riek Machar that it will not accept threats of armed conflicts.

The new First Vice President Taban Deng Gai said in a statement on Wednesday that South Sudan wants progress but Machar’s threats shows “he places his own political ambitions above the government’s ambitions for peace and security”.

“It is unacceptable to the peoples of South Sudan to even contemplate, let alone be threatened with, a return to armed conflict. South Sudan wants and needs cooperation between our peoples in government. This is the only way that progress towards prosperity can be assured,” Deng Gai said.

It is unacceptable to the peoples of South Sudan to even contemplate, let alone be threatened with, a return to armed conflict. South Sudan wants and needs cooperation between our peoples in government.

Riek Machar issued a statement over the weekend calling for an armed struggle against President Salva Kiir’s government which they accuse of attacking Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) positions.

President Salva Kiir’s spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny also condemned Machar’s statement saying “he has a long history of turning to war to force his demands on the peoples of South Sudan”.

“There is no place any longer in South Sudanese politics for those who wish to take part through the barrel of a gun,” he added.

The United Nations Undersecretary for Peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, has however called for Riek Machar to be included in the implementation of the peace process.

The lawyer for the South Sudanese government, Rodney Dixon, has dissuaded the international community from supporting the former rebel leader who is violating “international law when there is no legal justification” and also “disregarding the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions to which South Sudan is a party”.

“His call to return to war should now reveal to them that by continuing to back his participation they are not assisting to build the country’s security and justice system – but rather supporting a person who is an impediment to lasting peace and reconciliation,” he added.

Riek Machar fled Juba following clashes between his SPLM-IO forces and Salva Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in July.

He is currently is Khartoum on “humanitarian grounds” after a short stay in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

The Sudanese foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, has warned against any armed opposition to be launched from its territory against South Sudan.

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