- Costello Garang Ring (ST Photo)
July 20, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – A prominent South Sudanese politician Tuesday has revealed a meeting in Khartoum with the leader of the Democratic Change Lam Akol to discuss the issue of the South Sudan refugees in Sudan.
Costello Garang Ring who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Sudan Foundation told “Sudan Tribune” that he met with the South Sudanese Minister of Agriculture Lam Akol after his arrival to Khartoum from Nairobi four days ago.
He said he spoke on the telephone to other South Sudanese leaders from Fertit, Murle, Equatoria, Neur and Dinka on the crisis in South Sudan and the situations of the South Sudanese refugees in the Sudan.
“All the parties agree that there is no tribal problem but the crisis lies in the use of tribalism by some political figures to cover up mistakes they committed,”. added Ring who is the son of a traditional Malual-Dinka leader.
The outbreak of a four-day fighting between soldiers loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former rebels loyal to First Vice President Riek Machar claimed the lives of hundreds in Juba and forced over 40.000s to flee their homes.
He did not rule out playing a role in the ongoing efforts to solve the crisis in South Sudan, saying he left his residence in Germany to Khartoum to follow up the situations closely.
“I did not want to return to politics again. I wanted only to bring investments to South Sudan but I cannot stay away under the current situation,” further said Ring who was a former adviser to President Kiir.
The South Sudanese politician warned against a possible intervention of Western countries to impose a guardianship on South Sudan soon if the political leaders did not heed to the reality of the situation in the newborn country, and reach a negotiated solution to the crisis.
“Their intervention would be easier than their departure,” he stressed.
He said that the coming stage requires the resignation of President Salva Kiir and his First Deputy Riek Machar. He pointed that the solution of the crisis is at the hands of the Dinka tribe which has to make the necessary concessions, because the president, the army chief of staff and most of the leading members in the government and the army belong to this tribe.
“The Dinka have to offer concessions. The tribe should not fear such concessions. The majority should make concessions to the minorities,” he added.
Ring said that Machar would not return to Juba, adding last April he adventured under Western pressures, and returned despite the lack of sufficient troops to protect him.
“Machar was relying on the protection and pressures the international community can make”, he added.
He affirmed that Machar has left Juba miraculously.. “He survived death so he would not come back again easily”.
“Machar demands neutral international forces to separate between the two forces, besides withdrawal of the forces of two parties from the cities including the capital Juba, where they should be stationed 25 km away”
He further added that Machar wants the increase his forces in Juba by bringing 1,000 soldiers from his troops in the Upper Nile region”.
The South Sudanese politician went further to say that the “the Western countries were not satisfied with the 2015 peace agreement. They were following up the rising public opinion that demands new faces in the South Sudan government and calls to prosecute Salva Kiir and Machar for the war crimes committed in December 2013”.
“The West wants a western agreement under the cover of the IGAD. Also, the West wanted a transitional period without Kiir and Machar,” he claimed, adding under these conditions the international community ’would protect the agreement.