31 May 2014

South Sudan: Kenyan President Kenyatta Hails Machar's Visit

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya said he was encouraged by the commitment of the South Sudanese armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, to achieve a better system of governance in the war torn South Sudan.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta shakes hands with the SPLM in Opposition leader, Riek Machar, at the State House, Nairobi, May 30, 2014 (ST)

President Kenyatta made the remarks during a joint statement he issued on Friday with the South Sudanese former vice-president, now rebel leader, Riek Machar.

Machar visited Nairobi since Tuesday in response to an invitation by the leadership of the Kenyan government.

The two leaders met at the State House for the first time on Wednesday since the crisis began in South Sudan in mid-December in which they discussed the peace process between the two warring parties.

Kenyatta and Machar also held another meeting on Friday after which they jointly addressed the press.

The Kenyan leader commended the two parties for the roadmap agreement they signed which he said recognized the need for "inclusion of all stakeholders."

He urged the leader of the SPLM/A in opposition to continue with the commitment to achieve peace and better governance system in the new country.

"I am encouraged that you are committed to the achievement of a governance system that will allow sustainable peace and development in South Sudan. I urge you and your team to remain robustly engaged on contributing in good faith to a framework for political settlement of the crisis in South Sudan," partly reads the press statement issued by the Kenyan top executive.

Machar on his part commended the role played by the neighbouring country in mediating the two parties to end the war.

Kenyatta also urged the two warring parties to remain committed to the IGAD-led negotiation and to reaching an agreement as the basis for formation of a transitional government of national unity.

"Thank you for agreeing to visit Kenya and meet with us to seek a way forward. We in IGAD will continue to give this process every support and encouragement. You can rely on us," he further added.

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