JUBA, South Sudan, Jun 2 – South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Tuesday received five of the former detainees who arrived in Capital Juba Monday afternoon.
At a meeting with former detainees who have been in Nairobi for the last 15 months, Kiir expressed his joy to have most of his former Ministers back.
“I am happy to receive my comrades back and wish to sincerely thank Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta for hosting them all this time and for wholeheartedly supporting the peace effort,” said Kiir.
The former detainees were accompanied to Juba State House by South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and Tanzanian Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Secretary-General Abdulrahman Kinana.
The five former detainees include former minister for Cabinet Affairs Deng Lor, former Finance minister Kosti Manibe, Dr Majak D’Agoot who was deputy minister Defence, former Sports minister Cirino Hiteng and former Justice Minister John Luk.
Seven of the detainees have been in Kenya since February 2013 when President Uhuru Kenyatta successfully negotiated their release with President Salva Kiir.
The other six former detainees who remained in Nairobi are: former SPLM Secretary Generak Pagan Amum, Ezekiel Gatkuoth, Gier Chuang, Rebecca Nyandeng, Madut Biar and Oyai Deng Ajak.
The latest peace effort for South Sudan is geared towards merging the two peace process seeking to restore normalcy in the country. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has sought to reconcile rebels under former Vice President Riek Machar with the government under President Salva Kiir while Arusha process, sponsored by ANC of South African and CCM of Tanzania, seeks to reconcile splinter SPLM groups.
The initiate of bringing the former detainees back is in preparation to kick start the stalled peace processe. The former detainees are advance team of of the rest of the group which is part of the tripartite agreement signed in Arusha.
The visit will iron out among other things; reunification of SPLM party, full implementation of Arusha peace agreement, immediate end to the war and reinstating the IGAD peace process in Ethiopia.
CS Amina Mohamed said, “The merging of the two processes is in pursuit of sustainable peace and security in the youngest nation in the Horn of Africa and urged the parties to fully cooperate to achieve the same.”