Over the last two days, I have hosted South Sudan President, my brother Salva Kiir, and former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar as part of our country’s efforts to restore lasting peace to our important northern neighbor.
I met President Kiir and former Vice President Machar individually, as well as with their delegations. Crucially, my two brothers held five hours of face-to-face talks last night, which is important to build confidence and trust between them, in order to cement a viable path of peace.
A few days ago, at my intervention, all former South Sudanese detainees returned home to Juba and have already been restored to their party positions within the SPLM, ranging from the party’s Secretary-General to ranking members of the Politburo and National Liberation Movement,
At our meetings this weekend, we identified and isolated further the most important issues for both sides. We have discussed these extensively and, with the direct talks, both President Kiir and former Vice-President Machar understand each other’s concerns and reservations.
President Kiir and Dr Machar expressed their full commitment to the on-going peace processes and reaffirmed their commitment to securing peace for their people.
I invited the two leaders to reflect on the issues that unite them, which are bigger than those that separate them. I invite the leaders to reflect on the fact that they did not fight for 50 years for their independence so that their country could disintegrate before their own eyes. I invite both leaders to seize the hour for the cause of peace in South Sudan.
I urged, my brother President Kiir and my brother Dr Machar to keep the suffering of their people in mind every day, every hour, every minute, every second. Their people are our people too. We want them to live in peace and prosperity and the two leaders hold the key to peace in South Sudan.