South Sudan

Machar Agrees to Direct Talks With Kiir


help ampoule geneva;”>The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who is in the country for a 0ne-day visit told journalists that Machar had accepted meeting Kiir.

According to reports, Ban talked to Machar via satellite telephone because he is currently in a remote location.

Earlier on, Machar had refused the direct talks citing lack of a clear programme.

Today, Kiir reiterated his willingness to hold talks with him in his meeting with Ban.

“I have assured His Excellency that I am ready now to travel to Addis Ababa, to go and meet with Riek Machar, if he will accept to meet me,” he said.

Mr. Ban welcomed President Kiir’s willingness to sit down with Dr. Machar, describing it as a necessary step to return peace to the country, to which he had come with “a sad and heavy heart”.

“Even though they may have some different political views, there is nothing which they cannot overcome,” said the Secretary-General.

“They are same people, same country – this is their country.”

Mr. Ban also called on both leaders and those in command of military units to fully protect the civilian population and also respect international humanitarian and human rights laws, adding that those who committed crimes would be brought to justice.

“The United Nations is behind the people of South Sudan, and that is why I am here,” he said.

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