November 12, 2015 (JUBA)- Riek Machar, former vice-president in the government of South Sudan turned leader of armed opposition faction of the ruling Sudan People’s liberation movement (SPLM) will next week attend the regional heads of state summit in the capital, Juba , according to senior government officials on Thursday.
- South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar, center, greets unidentified participants after lengthy peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Aug. 17, 2015 (Photo AP/Mulugeta Ayene)
Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told reporters on Thursday that the first vice-president designate will visit Juba next week on 19 November attended a regional heads of state summit.
“He will be coming from Ethiopia together with the Ethiopian Prime Minister to attend the summit which will be held here in Juba. He will not be coming to stay. He is just coming for one day and will go back,” Ateny stressed.
According the presidential spokesperson , the purpose of the summit is “to build confidence between the two rival leaders to expedite the process of implementing peace agreement which they have signed last August to end more than 20 months conflict in the country.”
It will also be the opportunity for the heads of state to attend the inauguration of office of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission.
Information and broadcasting minister, Michael Makuei confirmed at the news briefing that the government has requested the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to inform the opposition leadership to delay the coming of its advance team to the national capital Juba until the necessary preparations to receive them are completed prior to their arrival.
Both sides announced last week that the advance team of the armed opposition leader would come to in Juba in the middle of this month as part of the implementation of peace agreement.
Makuei also pointed out that the government has not received the list and the exact date of arrival of the team.
“The most appropriate time will be on 26 of this month so that when they come here they will find that we have done all the necessary preparations for them, including accommodation and mobility,” Makuei told reporters at presidential guest house on Tuesday.
The spokesperson of the SPLM opposition faction said they were disappointed by the stressing their team was ready to travel to Juba by mid-November.
“SPLM/SPLA (IO) advance team has been ready to travel to Juba by mid-November. However, this will not be possible as planned if the government is not ready to receive the team,” said James Gatdet Dak, opposition leader’s spokesman, in a statement he issued on Thursday.