President Salva Kiir ready to talk with rebel leader to end turmoil in South Sudan

Eurasia News

JUBA: The South Sudanese President Salva Kiir is ready to begin talks with rebel leader and his former deputy president Riek Machar in order to end the turmoil in the country, the US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth said.

In a statement, Donald Booth said that “President Kiir committed to me that he was ready to begin talks with Riek Machar to end the crisis without preconditions as soon as his counterpart is willing.”

The announcement by the South Sudanese president came after the former deputy president Riek Machar also expressed readiness for talks, saying that negotiations would be held if his comrades who are under detention were released.

Donald Booth, who was sent to South Sudan to seek a diplomatic solution to days of deadly violence, said that “These individuals communicated to me their desire and their readiness to play a constructive role in ending the crisis through peaceful political dialogue and national reconciliation.” “I will be following up to see how the government may utilize this constructive position,” he added.

On December 16, the president Salva Kiir claimed to have defeated an attempt by a group of disgruntled soldiers and politicians led by a former deputy president Riek Machar to overthrow the Sudan government in the capital Juba.

The South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 after its people overwhelmingly voted in a referendum for a split from the North.