South Sudan's leaders have welcomed the latest development in the peace-process initiative spearheaded by Opposition chief Raila Odinga.
This after the former Prime Minister met with rebel leader Riek Machar in South Africa.
The meeting has now been backed by President Salva Kiir, who has reaffirmed his full trust and confidence in Raila's efforts to resolve the conflict in his war-torn country.
Raila is expected to forge ahead with the peace talks, as he awaits Machar’s release from house detention before proceeding to Juba, South Sudan.
But yesterday, Raila, through his spokesperson Dennis Onyango, clarified that his recent missions to South Sudan and South Africa, where he held talks with Mr Kiir and Dr Machar respectively, were aimed at understanding the current position of each of the two leaders on various issues.
“Raila’s mission was complementary to the talks that have been going on to bring together the various parties to the conflict in South Sudan under the auspices of IGAD in Addis Ababa. Raila remains hopeful that these efforts will soon bear fruit,” said Mr Onyango.
He also clarified that there were no planned talks between the two leaders as reported in sections of the media yesterday.
Sudanese leaders in Kenya have also lauded Raila’s efforts, saying all residents living abroad should go back and build their country.
“The deliberations geared towards face-to-face talks between President Kiir and Dr Machar are vital in bringing lasting peace. Raila’s role complements efforts by Khartoum, Sudan and the council of ministers of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development,” said James Oryema, a representative of South Sudanese in Kenya.
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