President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has held unexpected high profile meeting with a high level delegation from the South Sudan’s armed opposition faction under the leadership of former vice president, Riek Machar, days after a peace deal was signed by two warring parties in South Sudan.
The SPLM-IO said the meeting took place in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, on Saturday following an invitation extended to the former rebel group after signing of a final peace agreement with President Salva Kiir, which was brokered by the East African regional bloc, IGAD, and its international partners.
“Our Chairman and Commander-in-Chief, Comrade Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, dispatched a high level delegation to Kampala and met with President Yoweri Museveni,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak
Museveni strongly urged the delegation and other officials in that country to provide ideological leadership to the people of South Sudan. He noted that there has been a misidentification of who is a friend and who is an enemy. He, therefore, urged them to avoid tribalism adding that the vice is an enemy as it obstructs their prosperity.
“You people have got a big responsibility. The people of Uganda and those of South Sudan are one. The Kakwas, Madis, Acholis and others are in both countries,” the President told the delegation. He further told them that Khartoum was fought against because South Sudan and Uganda have one people.
The President said that discipline, particularly of the armies, was a must. He also reiterated that religious and tribal discrimination was false and reminded them that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) was able to build Uganda because of having a disciplined army.South Sudan’s opposition has since last year opened an office in the Ugandan capital and dispatched a representative based in Kampala to deal with humanitarian issues and build on mending relations between the two.
The Deputy Chairman of SPLM in Opposition, General Alfred Ladu Gore, saluted President Museveni for ensuring that the peace process in South Sudan was completed successfully.
“You are the person who stood with the people of South Sudan from the time before independence. We look forward to your wisdom in helping us to bridge the gap between the team of Dr. Riek Machar and that of President Salva Kiir,” he said.
The 10-member opposition delegation was led by the deputy chairman and deputy commander-in-chief of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army in opposition, General Alfred Ladu Gore.