South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his first deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny last week met in Juba to set the date for the first-ever graduation of undivided armed forces of South Sudan, following months of peace talks spearheaded by ODM leader Raila Odinga and the IGAD.
In a statement, the South Sudan presidency said the two leader’s meeting and the need to have a unified force was in line with the revitalized efforts aimed at finding peace in the war-torn country.
“His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic convened a meeting of the Presidency this afternoon , to discuss the pending Transitional Security Arrangement issues under chapter 2 of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan,” the presidency said in a statement in February.
In May 2018 after meeting a meeting with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Raila Odinga a month later also met Dr. Riek Machar who later tweeted, confirming the meeting and saying ‘something will change’ in the South Sudan conflict.
Dr. Machar has been leading the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), the main armed opposition group fighting to topple President Kiir.
‘‘I have had a fruitful discussion with Hon Raila Odinga in the quest for peace in our country. IO and myself have been advocating for this peaceful resolution of the conflict. The status quo shouldn’t stand. Something will change,’‘ he tweeted then.
Odinga, also the Azimio Movement has been leading efforts to reconcile the warring factions in South Sudan, and the face behind President Salva Kiir’s face-to-face talks with Riek Machar- a move that led to the two factions collapsing their various armies for a unified front in the youngest African nation.