South Sudan

Kiir: Ethiopia PM Intimidated Me to Sign Peace Deal

order geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>“Machar (Riek) and I signed the deal under duress, page ” said Kiir on Sunday as soon as he landed at Juba International Airport.

Kiir was returning from Kenya where he witnessed the signing of an agreement between China and East African countries to launch the construction of a massive railway line.

“I signed the agreement because the Ethiopian Prime Minister threatened to arrest us. He said if you don’t sign it, i will arrest you from here.”

The latest development underlines the growing levels of South Sudan’s lack of trust in Ethiopia as an independent mediator in peace talks.

There has been talk in corridors of power that Ethiopia is friendly and morally supportive of Machar and his movement which the international community recently accused of committing “heinous atrocities” in Bor and Bentiu.


Kiir has also on several occasions urged the regional powers that peace talks should be held in South Sudan.

The South Sudan President’s statements raise fears that he might not accept the formation of a transitional government as provided in the Ethiopia agreement.

Last Friday, Kiir and Machar agreed to rededicate themselves to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement of 23 January, facilitate unhindered humanitarian access to all populations affected by conflict, and to establish a transitional government of national unity.

A transitional unity government would be formed to oversee government functions in a transitional period and implement critical reforms via IGAD led negotiations such as overseeing a permanent constitution process and guiding the country to new elections.

However, on Saturday night, Machar’s rebels reportedly attacked government positions compelling SPLA to respond with heavy artillery.

On the other hand, rebels blamed government forces for starting the fight.

War broke out in the world’s youngest nation in December last year after Kiir accused Machar of trying to topple his government in a coup.

Machar denied the charge, saying Kiir was hell-bent on getting rid of “reformists” within the ruling party.

During the signing of the peace deal, Kiir rebuked Machar, saying, “I don’t want to talk about a coup or no coup – but a gun doesn’t fire itself.”

He added: “I want to assure you that the party and army I am leading will implement this agreement without fail. I cannot let my people continue bleeding. I am the president and responsible for all the people of South Sudan

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