South Sudan political detainees released,Kiir and Riek Machar to meet soon
President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday morning held talks with four former South Sudan political detainees who were released and handed to him by Salva Kiir’s government.
The detainees, who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi are General Okiech Pag’an Amum, Ambassador Ezekiel Gatkuoth Lol, General Ajak Oyay Deng, and General Dr Atem.
President Kiir and his former vice Dr. Riek Machar are set to meet in Addis Ababa soon to hold face to face talks with the aim of cessation of hostilities.
President Kenyatta expressed his appreciation to South Sudan leader for taking bold steps to release all political detainees so as to restore peace in the troubled country
He urged the four detainees to participate in regional initiatives to stop the ongoing fighting to bring sustainable peace in their country.
President Kenyatta said the release of the four with seven others in January this year is a first step to the reconciliation process in the world’s youngest nation.
He said with no political detainees remaining in South Sudan, the country and the region can now single-mindedly and without distraction focus on the cessation of hostilities.
The President said by the Government of President Kiir is a sign of good will and will open up of humanitarian corridors to create an atmosphere for displaced citizens to return home and rebuild their lives.
“We need to move quickly to secure the gains so far made by the Government of South Sudan and IGAD and move to the next phase of a face to face dialogue between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar” the President said.
President Kenyatta said development partners have expressed their support to the IGAD led peace process and have given assurances of facilitating efforts geared towards a peaceful South Sudan.
On their part the former political prisoners, expressed regret that their country is undergoing such a painful experience even after gaining their independence recently.
IGAD Special Envoys to the South Sudan Mediation Process are optimistic that the anticipated meeting will help end the violence and killings in country and provide the necessary impetus to the ongoing IGAD-led Mediation process.
Also present during the talks was Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.