The South Sudan Rebel Leader, Dr. Riek Machar has declared end to his country’s 6 years bloody conflict in an Easter message sent out on Friday.
Machar explicitly stated that for the first time in half a decade the people of South Sudan are going to celebrate Easter with the hope of a achieving a lasting peace.
“I thank God that this year and for the first time since the tragic war broke out in 2013 we celebrate Easter in hope for lasting peace as we embark on the Implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) which was signed on 12th September 2018,” said Machar.
He promised to the suffering population of South Sudan that the opposition and government forces are now “fully committed” to the realization of the agreement.
“We want to assure the people of South Sudan that we are fully committed to the implementation of the agreement and we are confident that it will fully end the six-year civil war which brought untold suffering upon our people,” added Machar.
Machar’s movement and the government of President Salva Kiir signed the first peace agreement in August 2015 which resulted to the formation of transitional unity government. The unity government collapsed only after two months when bodyguards of Kiir and Machar fiercely clashed at the presidential palace.
Machar, yet again, thanked the organizers of the recent Vatican retreat which he believes is playing a pivotal role in realization of peace in South Sudan.
“I also would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and that of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) to the Vatican for organizing the spiritual retreat that brought together the political and church leaderships of South Sudan. It was timely and offered a rare chance for reflection and has given a new momentum for the implementation of the agreement and reconciliation amongst us the leaders.”
He mentioned that the kissing of their feet by the Pope in Vatican was a huge challenge.
“It must be confessed that we have been challenged spiritually, morally and politically by the humility and exhortation of His Holiness Pope Francis.”
The SPLA-IO concluded by appealing for reconciliation.
“As we Christians believe God almighty allowed his only beloved son to die on the cross in order to reconcile us to himself, I therefore appeal to all South Sudanese to use the opportunity of Easter for reconciliation with one another.”