Kiir and Machar Rejects ‘Third Party’ Troops in South Sudan

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By Al Jazeera,

South Sudan marked the fifth year of its creation with violence and death, teetering on the edge of collapse and humanitarian disaster. This latest bout killed hundreds, displaced thousands and has put into question the fate of the government and the role of the United Nations there.

A shaky ceasefire is in place between the troops of President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar in the capital city of Juba. Both leaders say they back the peace process brokered by foreign powers earlier this year. But the ethnic conflict and power struggle between the factions has created a series of more complicated issues like corruption, unprecedented levels of food insecurity and economic turmoil.

Reports from outside Juba are of extreme violence and a rising death toll. Do Kiir and Machar have the ability to stop the fighting, or is intervention by the international community needed?

On the next Stream, we discuss what it will take to resolve this latest crisis, and bring a lasting peace to South Sudan.

On today’s episode, we speak to Brian Adeba @kalamashaka, associate Director of Policy, Enough Project; Emmanuel Jal @EmmanuelJAL, Musician and peace activist; James Gatdet Dak @JamesGatdetDak, Spokesperson of Vice President Riek Machar and Ateny Wek Ateny, South Sudan presidency spokesman.

Asked if the current leadership would accept a third force, James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesperson, said the first vice president would only accept an intervention from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). “Any other force we will not accept it.”

[We] would only accept an intervention from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). “Any other force we will not accept it.” First Vice President Riek Machar.

Ateny Wek Ateny, Kiir’s spokesperson, said an outside force was unnecessary. “The two leaders can work perfectly well. President Salva Kiir said it on Monday – first vice president Machar is still his first vice president and they are determined to implement the peace agreement.”

Ateny pointed out that there are already 12,000 UN troops in South Sudan “who have not done anything” so questioned why increasing the number of foreign troops would help the situation. “A third party force will not be acceptable because it will just aggravate the situation in South Sudan.”

A sovereign state cannot be invaded without its consent. For any force, we must be consulted.” President Salva Kiir

Ateny also blamed the current crisis on international interference in the last peace agreement. “Last time the international community failed to accept the advice we gave them. We said two armies will not be workable… If the first vice president is also to accept that he is part of the government, he shouldn’t have his own forces. Now it was seen on Friday how devastating is having two armies.”