Leader of main armed opposition faction in South Sudan, Riek Machar has admitted that president Museveni withdrew Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) from the war ravaged country which is a prerequisite for peace.
The withdrawal of UPDF was a key demand of rebels loyal to former vice president Machar during peace negotiations to end the nation’s conflict held in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
The Uganda soldiers withdrew from South Sudan in November and December last year.
“Once the peace was signed, he (Museveni) has withdrawn his troops except those which are in Western Equatorial region, which were deployed in western equatorial because of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels,” Machar said at a press conference in Kampala yesterday.
The remarks came hours after meeting president Museveni at Masindi State Lodge. Machar said the two agreed on “consolidation of peace in the region through implementation of the agreement or resolution of conflict in the region.”
He blamed South Sudan president Salvar Kiir for failure to lift state of emergency. “Restrictions of movement of people is still on. This is because the state of emergency has not been lifted.”
Machar said he is committed to restoring peace in South Sudan. “You watched me sign the peace agreement in Adis Ababa…I urge him (Salvar Kiir) to come back to Adis to sign his part. We want to move away from war.”
Missing Peace Agreement Implementation Deadline
South Sudan’s warring parties have failed to form a transitional government missing Friday’s deadline set by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), which is overseeing implementation of the peace deal.