Riek Machar Refuses to Meet South Sudan Dialogue Committee

Former South Sudan Vice President Dr Riek Machar has for the second time rejected a request by the National Dialogue Steering Committee to meet him in South Africa.

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had accepted the task trying to talk to Machar to meet the steering committee.

But the committee has now revealed that Ramaphosa had told the members that Machar had refused to meet the dialogue team.

“We wish to reassure our downtrodden people that the doors of the National Dialogue remain open to Dr. Machar and to any other South Sudanese political and military leader who has a point of view that may enhance the process,” the committee’s statement read in part.

“We will, therefore, continue to knock at his door and plead with him to talk to us, as managers of this extremely important process in the country,” added the statement, revealing the committee’s resolve to have Machar’s voice and views heard.

Soouth Sudan’s dialogue process commenced in September, months after President Salva Kiir initiated it in December 2016, with the view of promoting unity and reconciliation in a nation battered by war since December 2013.

Opinions are already being collected in the states that make up the world’s youngest nation.

But attempts to have Machar meet the dialogue team have remained futile.

After the launch of the dialogue in June 2017, the committee made an attempt to meet Machar – but like this week’s plan, the attempt was futile.

Koch Madut