October 13, 2017, South Sudan’s national dialogue committee currently in South Africa for retreat said it had failed again to meet the armed opposition leader Riek Machar, throwing into doubt the success of the dialogue process launched by President Kiir in May.
In July, South Sudan’s prominent opposition leader Riek Machar declined meeting members of the national dialogue committee in South Africa, citing the need to stop the country’s ongoing war as a priority.
The national dialogue delegation, according to a statement dated October 12, Machar decided to once again reject their request to seek audiences with him over how he and his group could contribute in the dialogue process.
“Regrettably, this time again, we have received a word back from deputy president Ramaphosa’s office, that Dr.Machar has again turned down our request to meet him,” partly reads the statement.
“Despite of this latest turn by our brother and son of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, we wish by this statement, to reassure our downtrodden people, that the doors of the national dialogue remain open to Dr. Machar and to any other South Sudanese political and military leader, who has a point of view that may enhance the process of the national dialogue leading to peace, security, reconciliation and national unity for all the people of our beloved young republic of South Sudan,” adds the statement.
President Kiir initiated a national dialogue initiative in December last year in which he urged rebels to be part of the dialogue process, saying it would help unite the country.