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NAIROBI - 18 Feb 2018

Majak D'Agoot: government is to blame for failed peace talks

File photo: Majak D'Agoot
File photo: Majak D'Agoot

South Sudan's former deputy defense minister turned critic of Kiir’s administration, Majak D'Agoot, blamed the government for the failure of the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa on Friday.

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj on Sunday, Majak criticized the government of South Sudan for its stance at the peace talks in Addis Ababa saying, “The government created obstacles that impeded the peace process. The government team was not flexible and its position was extremely radical."

Majak, who is a leading member of the former political detainees, also blamed some armed opposition groups for the recent failure in peace talks explaining that they were not flexible.

He pointed out that his group made a proposal that the country’s president Salva Kiir and his former first deputy Riek Machar should get out of South Sudan politics, arguing that is the only way to restore lasting peace in the country.

 “We as members of SPLM-FDs, we presented a clear position that South Sudan got stuck and cannot move forward due the conflict between the two men, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. We said for the country to end these successive transitional periods that failed to transform South Sudan democratically, we proposed that it is better for President Salva Kiir and former first vice president Riek Machar to get out of the equation,” Majak said.

“We said that the people of South Sudan can ensure a safe exit from politics for the two men. People can agree on how the two men can leave politics peacefully,” he added.

The South Sudanese politician accused President Kiir of failing to lead the country.” Salva Kiir has been leading South Sudan for 14 to 15 years now. We do not expect that he will lead the country in a better way in the coming three years. Kiir can choose one of his loyalists to lead the transitional period. We are not proposing that we should be the successors,” he said.

He pointed out all the obstacles for peace should be removed in order to put the country on the right path that would help achieve a future of prosperity for the people of South Sudan.

Majak D'Agoot said the opposition decided to unite its position at the peace talks to save the country and its people from the misrule of the current government.

” We have agreed on the principles. We want to get out of this embarrassing situation so that South Sudan can move forward. Our brother Salva Kiir has worked hard for South Sudan. But at this critical juncture, he lacks the ability to move South Sudan out of this tragic moment, so it’s an honour for him to step down,” he said.

Majak emphasized the importance of peace and urged all leaders to focus on peace and harmony in the country, pointing out that the ongoing civil war hinders progress.

“As leaders we need to put the interest of the people first. For our part, we are ready to sign a peace agreement. We were not reluctant to sign the declaration of principles and the agreement on cessation of hostilities. So this is the reason that let us to maintain our ministers in Juba according to the 2015 peace agreement. We are doing so to encourage peace and stability in the country,” he said.