Machar: I Am Committed To Peace Deal

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar sits in the bush in a rebel-controlled territory in Jonglei State January 31, 2014.
South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar sits in the bush in a rebel-controlled territory in Jonglei State January 31, 2014.

South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar has told international media he is still committed to a peace deal, despite accusing the government of violating a ceasefire.

He said he wanted further “dialogue” with the government, also alleging that President Salva Kiir was not in control of some of the forces fighting for him.

The government earlier accused the rebels of flagrant violations of the truce, but said it would not break it.

The peace deal to end the five-month conflict was signed on Friday.

Thousands of people have been killed and at least 1.5 million have been displaced, according to UN estimates.

Some five million citizens of the world’s newest country are currently believed to be in need of emergency aid, facing mass hunger.

“We will negotiate with him [President Kiir]… for the sake of the people of South Sudan, we will negotiate and reach a political settlement”, Mr Machar said.

“Finally, the government accepted the agenda for dialogue which they were refusing before signing the deal. We also accepted this agenda.”

The rebel leader also accused government troops of launching attacks in five locations, including in the town of Bentiu in oil-rich Unity State.

Mr Machar alleged that President Kiir was not in full control of the forces fighting for him, like Ugandan troops and fighters from Darfur, and accused him of inciting ethnic hatred.

Earlier, Sudanese Information Minister Michael Makuei accused the rebels of violating the ceasefire.

Adapted From BBC

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