President’s Daughter, Defense Ministry, and Governor Linked to Mining Sector Corruption in South Sudan

President Kiir’s Associates Tied to 32 Mining Companies; High-Level Corruption in Minerals Sector Risks Fueling Armed Conflict, Report Warns,

By Sentry,

Washington, DC

Incumbent President Salva Kiir, whose term expires in one month, meet five of the former detainees in Juba, South Sudan(Photo: file)

Incumbent President Salva Kiir, whose term expires in one month, meet five of the former detainees in Juba, South Sudan(Photo: file)

April 2, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – At a time when South Sudan’s government most needs to generate resources for urgent public health-related challenges including the Covid-19 pandemic, one of its promising revenue streams is beset by mismanagement and corruption. The Sentry’s latest investigative report reveals how South Sudan’s promising gold-dominated minerals sector is riddled with corruption involving President Salva Kiir’s relatives and inner circle, military leaders, and other high-level officials. Published today, the report further exposes illegal mining now underway in Eastern Equatoria state, where the governor has ties to numerous mining businesses, as well as the Ministry of Defense’s involvement in problematic mining licensing deals.

Untapped and Unprepared: Dirty Deals Threaten South Sudan’s Mining Sector” warns that, without strong reforms, abuse in the minerals sector could spur the same kind of resource-driven violence that plagued the petroleum industry throughout civil wars fought on South Sudanese soil dating back to the 1980s.

John Prendergast, Co-Founder of The Sentry, said”Through close relatives and allied government officials, President Salva Kiir is linked to dozens of mining companies in South Sudan. The president’s core network has used its control of the minerals sector to consolidate its grip on South Sudan’s state revenues and natural resources. If South Sudan’s people are to benefit from the country’s mineral wealth, including lifesaving healthcare urgently needed in the face of a global pandemic, financial institutions should take immediate steps to identify and monitor the bank accounts of those in power, their business networks, families, and inner circles.”

The Sentry further established that Kiir’s close associates and lower-level ministers have held shares in no fewer than 32 South Sudanese companies established to extract minerals. The government has yet to disclose crucial information about their ownership structures, activities, or open applications for licenses, undermining public scrutiny of a sector already at heightened risk for corruption and raising questions about who benefits from South Sudan’s mineral wealth.

Sophie Lombardo, Investigator for The Sentry, said: “Without swift action, South Sudan’s mining sector may fall into the same traps as the oil sector, which has helped drive war in South Sudan for decades. Military interests abound, either through joint ventures with private investors or companies controlled by the Ministry of Defense. The Sentry’s investigative findings reveal opaque and questionable deals that raise significant concerns about secret off-budget revenues within an institution marred by a history of abuse.”

 

J.R. Mailey, Investigations Director at The Sentry, said: “Today, widespread corruption, mismanagement, and poor oversight in the mining sector are intertwined in a vicious cycle. Individuals linked to criminal activities have received numerous mining licenses, as have companies with little technical or financial capacity, raising serious questions about how licenses are granted. The mineral sector in South Sudan is still in its early development stage, however, so the implementation of critical reforms can deliver enormous benefits for the future of the country. Policy action is needed now, such as the creation of a regularly updated public online register disclosing the beneficial ownership of mining sector businesses.”

Report highlights:

  • Although South Sudan took welcome steps to reform the mining sector in 2012, some government officials, their relatives, and their close associates have fostered a weak regulatory environment susceptible to exploitation.
  • Memoranda and articles of incorporation reviewed by The Sentry reveal that politically exposed persons—both President Salva Kiir’s close associates and lower-level ministers—have held shares in no fewer than 32 South Sudanese companies established to extract minerals.
  • Kiir’s daughter partly owns a company with three active mining licenses.
  • A company with three mining licenses lists former Vice President James Wani Igga’s son as a shareholder.
  • Ashraf Seed Ahmed Hussein Ali, a businessman commonly known as Al-Cardinal who was placed under Global Magnitsky sanctions in October 2019, reportedly owns the company currently holding the most mining licenses.
  • In the gold-rich region of Kapoeta, state government officials have issued licenses independently of the central government, a probable violation of South Sudan’s Mining Act that has allowed illegal mining to take place on land previously allocated by Juba to other companies.
  • South Sudan’s military has developed problematic mining interests in an effort to address budgetary shortfalls.

Key recommendations from the report:

South Sudan government:

  • Create a public register disclosing beneficial ownership. Key company ownership information remains inaccessible to the public. A regularly updated public online register would promote good governance and serve as a vital accountability tool for anti-corruption advocates, civil society, and political parties. Moreover, such a move would encourage legitimate investment and demonstrate the government’s commitment to building a more transparent system.
  • Conduct a retroactive audit of the mining sector. Numerous red flags in South Sudan’s mining sector highlight the country’s susceptibility to state capture. In order to assess the effectiveness of the process of awarding licenses to technically competent, legitimate enterprises, the Ministry of Mining should hire an independent external party to retroactively audit all mining companies currently operating in South Sudan. The ministry should further investigate the beneficial owners of mining companies and determine whether politically exposed persons have unfairly profited. As an example, independent audits have been required prior to resuming certified exports following the moratorium implemented as part of the government-led Kimberley Process initiative to clean up the diamond trade.

United States government: 

  • Issue responsible investment reporting requirements. The US Department of State should encourage responsible engagement in South Sudan’s mining sector by implementing investment reporting requirements for US persons. Much as it did in Myanmar, the agency should require companies to file publicly available reports detailing their due diligence, community engagement, human rights, anti-corruption, and environmental efforts within their operations and policies.
  • Issue a public advisory listing typologies and enhanced due diligence measures. Building upon the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)’s two anti-money laundering (AML) advisories referencing political corruption in South Sudan, the United States should consider issuing an update or a separate advisory sharing with financial institutions the latest methods and trends used to launder the proceeds of illegal mining and the extractives industry.
  • Expand US sanctions authorities. South Sudan’s conflict dynamics have evolved significantly since then-US President Barack Obama issued EO 13664 in 2014. The US president should issue a new executive order, or amend EO 13664, to provide additional authorities for targeting illicit financial activity.
    • Update sanctions designation criteria to include family members. The current order should be amended to permit the designation of individuals who are the spouses or dependent children of (i) any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to EO 13664 or (ii) any South Sudanese person blocked pursuant to EO 13818.
    • Target captured business sectors. A new executive order should limit or prohibit US persons from conducting business with foreign persons who are active in key sectors of South Sudan’s economy that are captured by regime elites, including the mining and oil industries. Business prohibitions or requirements to report publicly on due diligence measures could emanate from this effort.

United Kingdom and European governments:

  • Issue a public anti-money laundering advisory to financial institutions warning about the extractives industry’s corruption risks. The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and relevant national authorities across continental Europe should issue public AML alerts or advisories on corruption in the extractives sector, citing the risks of laundering the proceeds of corruption in oil, gold, and other natural resource sectors requiring licenses. In order to assist financial institutions in updating their customer due diligence and ongoing monitoring frameworks, an advisory should include typologies and red flags identifying methods that bad actors could use to siphon illicit funds out of South Sudan. These advisories would complement the alert issued by the NCA in February 2020 on illicit money flows related to South Sudanese political corruption.

Read the full report: https://thesentry.org/reports/untapped-unprepared/

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@thesentry.org
ABOUT THE SENTRY

The Sentry is an investigative and policy team that follows the dirty money connected to African war criminals and transnational war profiteers and seeks to shut those benefiting from violence out of the international financial system. By disrupting the cost-benefit calculations of those who hijack governments for self-enrichment in East and Central Africa, the deadliest war zone globally since World War II, we seek to counter the main drivers of conflict and create new leverage for peace, human rights, and good governance. The Sentry is composed of financial investigators, international human rights lawyers, and regional experts, as well as former law enforcement agents, intelligence officers, policymakers, investigative journalists, and banking professionals. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is a flagship initiative and strategic partner of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

Learn more at www.TheSentry.org.

Church Radio journalist arrested for interviewing ex-Western Lakes governor

July 3rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – Authorities in South Sudan’s Western Lakes state on Wednesday arrested a journalist working for a local radio affiliated to the Juba-based Catholic Radio Network (CRN), the Director for the network said in a statement Wednesday.

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Journalist Marial Deng (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

According to the statement extended to Nyamilepedia, journalist Marial Deng who is the Director of Good News Radio, an affiliate of the CRN was arrested this afternoon in Rumbek after state authorities summoned him to a security facility for questioning after he was accused of interviewing ex-governor of Western Lakes John Madeng Mamer.

“Marial Deng, was detained on Wednesday, after a summon by the authorities in Rumbek over accusations of interviewing the former Governor of Western Lakes State,” the statement partly read.

Although it did not confirm whether Deng had interviewed the ex-governor, the statement stressed the need to direct complaints by the authorities to the Juba-based Media Authority and said they would cooperate on measures to settle the matter.

“We appeal, to the government of Western Lakes State-Rumbek to immediately release Marial and if there are concerns over the interview conducted by the radio, they should be addressed to the right Media Authorities and CRN will cooperate in settling the matter in due course,” it said.

It further said “we condemn the demand by the authorities to screen all the radio programmes before going on-air.”

Ex-Kenyan vice-president appointed peace envoy for South Sudan

July 3rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has appointed ex-vice president turned opposition leader, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, as the country’s Special Envoy for South Sudan.

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Kenyan opposition leader and ex-vice president Stephen Kalonzo (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

The appointment of the prominent opposition figure came a day after President Salva Kiir of South Sudan concluded a two-day state visit to Nairobi.

In a statement yesterday, the Kenyan foreign ministry which congratulated Kalonzo praised the decision of the Kenyan leader saying it is a good step for the pursuit of peace in the region.

“The appointment is furtherance of Kenya’s efforts towards shared prosperity in the region, in general, and to the pursuit of lasting peace and security in South Sudan,” the foreign ministry statement said.

Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka is one of the opposition leaders in Kenya and was the tenth Vice-President who served in that capacity for six consecutive years.

General Gatdet’s deputy elected leader of South Sudan Opposition Alliance

July 3rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The opposition consortium, South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), has elected the deputy of late General Peter Gatdet Yaka as the new leader of the opposition umbrella according to a statement extended to the Nyamilepedia.

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Newly elected SSOA chairman and leader of South Sudan United Movement (SSUM/A) Denay Chagor (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

In November last year, the SSOA split into two groups – one led by Gabriel Changson Chang, and the other led by late General Peter Gatdet – following a disputed elections which saw the election of General Gatdet as the leader of the allaince.

Last March, in an exclusive interview with Nyamilepedia in Cairo, Changson said he and others in the SSOA leadership were working to reunite the fractured opposition alliance.

Last week, a spokesman for Changson told the Nyamilepedia as well that Changson has decided to relinquish the SSOA leadership and that Josephine Lagu of the People’s Democratic Movement had been elected to lead the group before a new leader would be elected.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Changson announced that the unified SSOA has elected Denay Jock Chagor, Gatdet’s successor, as the new leader of the opposition alliance.

“The unified SSOA Leadership takes this opportunity to inform the general public that from today Hon. Denay Jock Chagor is the Chairman of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA),” a statement signed by Changson and Chagor partly read.

“To this effect, we would like to inform SSOA member organizations, partners in the R-ARCSS, regional and international bodies, supporters and well-wishers about this new development,” the statement added.

It further reiterated the alliance’s “full commitment to the implementation of the peace agreement.”

According to the statement, Chagor will leader the SSOA for six month after which he will handover to Changson who will than hand it over after six months to any other SSOA member-party for another six-month leadership.

Government Troops Killed 8, Burnt Down Houses as Residents Flee Chukudum!

Sources from Chukudum confirmed that government troops have burned down houses and killed scores on 6-7 Oct, 2014(Photo: file)

Sources from Chukudum confirmed that government troops have burned down houses and killed scores on 6-7 Oct, 2014(Photo: file)

Oct 8, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — According to the latest reports from Chukudum the government troops razed down the town of Chukudum and killed scores last night following a minor shooting between the government soldiers and unidentified militants.

The frightened population fled the town before dawn on Tuesday morning as the government forces went rampage, burning down houses and killing at least 8 civilians in the town.

According to Santo Lubari, a resident of Chukudum town, the shooting began in the town at around 9:30pm between security forces and unidentified group.

Lubari believes that the shooting was between two armed groups, however, civilians and their property have been targeted.

“sorry to say that Chukudum is being burnt down again by the same enemies of peace. SPLA soldiers fought themselves last night. We are not sure of what caused the shooting but we heard sound of guns toward the SPLA barack at about 9:30 pm” Lubari said

 “The fighting stopped temporarily but it continued again in the middle of the night. That was within the barrack. So we think these are the SPLA fighting among themselves but they have killed civilians, including children and women” Lubari reiterated.

According to Lubari the residents have counted 8 dead bodies and the search continues as the scared residents scattered in various directions. Many civilians are yet to confirm the fates of their loved ones.

“Tens of people have been killed and their bodies haven’t been recovered or buried. We counted 8 dead bodies and 68 burned houses” Lubari told Nyamilepedia correspondent on phone from Chukudum.

“Someone told me he lost 3 relatives today and we are fearing for more deaths…two of his own sisters are still missing all their kids also disappeared since this morning…but the whole chukudum is in bad shape.” Lubari continued.

The residents confirmed that the government troops went house to house, setting the houses on fire without warning.

Reliable sources confirm that more than 1 000 people have taken refuge at various NGOs and Community Development Support Office compound within the town.

US: South Sudan Killings Show Unbelievable Cruelty

AP  | by  LARA JAKES

Slaint loyal soldiers near Bor, Jonglei state

Bodies of government loyal soldiers lying next to a mounted truck destroyed by the SPLA soldiers allied to the armed opposition in attempts to recapture Bor in December 2013 from Maj. Gen. Gatdet Yaka, the commanding officer of division 8 who defected to Machar after targeted killing of civilians in Juba (Photo: Reuters, 29-12-2013)

May 02, 2014 [ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia] — Stopping short of describing deadly fighting in South Sudan as genocide, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday blasted the new nation’s ethnic and political leaders as creating the same kind of violence their people sought to escape when they voted three years ago to break away from Sudan.

Kerry came to Africa in large part to broker an agreement among the African Union — and eastern Africa states in particular — to send peacekeepers to South Sudan as quickly as possible to stanch the brutal killings that have largely broken down along ethnic lines and threaten to throw the country into outright civil war. It’s estimated that thousands of people have been killed since the fighting began nearly six months ago, and about 1 million others have fled their homes.

But it remained unclear, despite Kerry’s lobbying, whether the AU would send enough troops to South Sudan to help United Nations forces quell the violence.

He blamed the brutalities on a vicious rivalry between President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and former Vice President-turned-rebel Riek Machar, a Nuer. The two ethnic tribes have feuded for generations.

“Leadership is needed,” Kerry told reporters at a news conference Thursday in the Ethiopian capital.

If the fighting continues to target civilians along ethnic and tribal lines, Kerry said, they “could really present a very serious challenge to the international community with respect to the question of genocide.”

“It is our hope that that could be avoided,” Kerry said.

He said he also hoped that “in these next days, literally, we can move more rapidly to put people on the ground who can make a difference.”

U.S. officials believe the AU is willing to deploy at least 5,000 troops to South Sudan. But that may not be enough to help create calm in the nation of 11 million people.

By comparison, the U.N. has stationed nearly 14,000 peacekeeping troops and police officials in South Sudan in recent months.

Uganda already has troops inside South Sudan in support of the Kiir government in Juba, but that has raised regional concerns since both sides of the conflict are accused of killing civilians. The U.S. has said it wants Uganda to withdraw from South Sudan.

After meeting with Kerry, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said he joined diplomats from Kenya and Uganda in agreeing that a fast solution is necessary. “There is an agreement that we have to be as aggressive as possible in order to have an impact on the ground in South Sudan,” Adhanom told reporters. But he did not offer details, and neither did Kerry.

Earlier this week, U.N. envoy Adama Dieng warned that South Sudan could descend into genocide if the brutality continues. And U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navy Pillay said the nation faces another major threat — famine — as a result of farmers who have had to abandon their homes and crops to escape the fighting.

UNICEF is warning that up to 50,000 children could die of malnutrition this year.

After a decades-long fight for independence, South Sudan peacefully broke away from Sudan in 2011. Relations between the two countries have been strained since the split and both countries have suffered from instability and sporadic violence.

Kerry demanded that Kiir and Machar hold accountable those who have directed or organized the killings, and threatened anew to impose financial and travel sanctions against officials who are believed to be involved. U.S. officials have not ruled out the possibility of sanctioning Kiir and Machar themselves, and Kerry said Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda also are willing to impose penalties on perpetrators.

In a letter Thursday to President Barack Obama, nine U.S. senators, including Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., called for targeted U.S. sanctions on militants and additional penalties by the U.N. Security Council. They also demanded Kiir and Machar be held personally accountable for shepherding through a peace agreement.

“The South Sudanese government has an obligation to ensure that the lives of their people and future of their young country are not marred by further violence,” the senators wrote.

The fighting began in December, when Kiir accused Machar of trying to stage a coup and wrest control of the government. The U.S. has not embraced that view, although Kerry on Thursday drew a clear distinction between Kiir, as the constitutionally elected president of South Sudan, and Machar, whom he accused of trying to “take power with force.”

But he said both leaders needed to do more to end the conflict.

“Acts of violence against civilians on both sides in South Sudan are a reminder of the unbelievable capacity for cruelty on this planet,” Kerry said. “This is precisely the kind of violence that the people of South Sudan fought so hard for so long to try to escape.”

While in Ethiopia, Kerry also urged authorities to protect journalists following the arrest and detention of at least nine journalists and bloggers. He said their work “makes societies stronger and vibrant.”

Rights groups had urged Kerry to speak out in support of the Ethiopian journalists who were jailed just days ahead of Kerry’s visit. They are accused of inciting public violence and collaborating with foreign activist groups.

Leslie Lefkow of Human Rights Watch, which has urged the journalists’ unconditional release, said the arrests signaled that “anyone who criticizes the Ethiopian government will be silenced.”

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Associated Press writer Elias Meseret in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, contributed to this report.

Is Uganda Giving Up On Its Rescue Mission?

Ankunda 2014-04-16 at 2.12.57 PM

April 25, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The Ugandan People Defence Force(UPDF) intervened in South Sudanese conflict in December to rescue president Salva Kiir from being overthrown by mutinied troops loyal to Machar.

Although the intervention was not initially approved by either the African Union or the Inter-Governmental Authority Development (IGAD), Museveni hoped his well equipped UPDF could capture the rebel leader, Dr. Machar in “four days”. However, the latest report from the Uganda military bears some frustrations citing the flattering security in the country.

Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, the Ugandan military spokesperson, blames the international community for being slow to stop the ongoing bloodshed in South Sudan. Ankunda has as well blamed the South Sudan waring factions and the United Nations for being insensitive.

“The warring parties are being insensitive to the people’s wishes. We expect them to be engaging in a political process in Addis Ababa, and this is not what they are doing,” Ankunda said on Thursday.

Ankunda, who reported two weeks ago that Uganda will not help the trouble Juba government fights the insurgents in the oil rich Bentiu, has further reports that the Ugandan troops will not expands their mission beyond Bor, Juba and “Nisitu”.

“We have no intention at all, we have no intentions whatsoever to move beyond the positions that we occupy. Our forces are in defensive positions in Bor town, Juba city and Nisitu. We have no mandate whatsoever to move beyond those positions,” Ankunda said.

This will be a big blow to South Sudan government. UPDF helped the loyal troops recapture the strategic towns of Bor, Malakal and Bentiu in January from the anti-government forces. Uganda warplanes have further bombed villages in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states, killing civilians and cattle in pursuit of Dr. Riek.

Uganda deploys thousands troops, equipped with modern warplanes and heavy artilleries with hope to crush Machar’s rebellion in December, however, the Ugandans have lost heavily within the last 4 months as the rebellion continues to strengthens.

With the rainy season approaching there is little for the Ugandans to rescue, given the poor road network and airstrips in South Sudan.

Ankunda expressed his concerns for the killings of civilians and Darfur mercenaries in Bentiu and warns the white army to only attack Bor at their own perils.

“We have read that rebels moved into Bentiu and killed hundreds of civilians. That is not what they should be doing. They should be talking.” Ankunda said.

“We are equally concerned for the areas where we are, for example Bor, Nisitu, Juba, we have told these rebels if they dare attack, should they dare attack these positions where UPDF is, they will do it at their own peril,” Ankunda added.

Bor became a major target for the white army after an unprovoked attack at the UN base on 17 April, killing over hundred unarmed civilians at the watch of the Ugandan People Defense Force.

The opposition forces have reported matching towards Bor this week on a “rescue mission”, which has captured Dukpadit and neighboring towns North of Bor on Thursday.

Ankunda emphasizes withdrawing of the UPDF, however, the Ugandan army fears the fates of the South Sudanese government.

“We cannot leave a vacuum and that is very clear. We cannot withdraw or pull out and leave a vacuum that can be taken advantage of by these militia killing people” the spokesman said.

The Ugandan army expected IGAD to deploy its troops this month to protect oilfields and strategic towns, however, Machar has opposed the proposal. Machar is consolidating his military might to seize Paloich’s oilfields, the only oilfields under government control in the country.

Uganda troops arrived in the country shortly after war broke out, among the presidential guards, between troops loyal to Machar against those loyal to Salva Kiir.

Salva Kiir accused his former deputy, Riek Machar and his 15 senior colleagues for “plotting a coup” to overthrow him, however, the high profile politicians have all denied the accusation, some in the court of law.

13 politicians who were arrested and charged with treason and incitement of masses have been found not guilty by the special court. Seven politicians were released into Kenyan custody in January while the last four together with Dr. Adwok Nyaba remain under house arrest in Juba.

Related stories:

Breaking news: South Sudan rebels bomb UPDF tanks, 250 soldiers killed

Ugandan military says S. Sudan security situation out of control

Uganda: UPDF will not help South Sudan government to fight rebels in Bentiu!

Machar Welcomes The Release of Political Prisoners, Urges Foreign Troops to Leave!

Interviewed by Fred Dove.

Dr. Riek Machar, with his troops in Nasir (Photo: supplied)

Dr. Riek Machar, with his troops in Nasir (Photo: supplied)

April 25, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — While Dr. Machar, the former vice president, believes that his senior colleagues would have been released three months ago, he welcomes their release. He, however, asserted that their release was expected because the cases were weak and would have been thrown out of the court.

“However, nothing is too late, we welcome their release. It also indicates a lot because they have been under trial, it means the charges they were tried on are baseless and we have been saying that these people are innocent, at last Juba has proven that. So we welcome their release” Machar said.

Machar believes that the government was loosing the court case and if the case was left to the judges, the court would have trash it but because the government did not want that embarrassment, they decided to squash the case themselves.

Machar believes that the foreign troops from Sudan and Uganda must leave to give peace a chance.

“This is when we will know the government wants to discuss peace and wants to dialogue but as long as our country is still under occupation through the invitation of Salva Kiir, I don’t think he is serious.” Machar added.

Machar regrets any incident of targeted killing of civilians and pledges to institute a team that would investigate the incident.

“But however, if there is an incident of civilians that have lost lives, we regrets that, and I have decided that I will institute an investigation to this matter” Machar reaffirms

Machar further asserted that he would attend the peace talk in Ethiopia if required to show his willingness.

“Oh definitely, today I had discussion with the IGAD members, the mediation team. I also had discussion with the TRIOKA, and the European Union representative, and also with South African envoy, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa. And I promised that if the talk starts, if it needs even my present, I will be present. This is to show that we are serious about reaching towards political settlement ” Machar confidently added.

BBC: listen to “Riek Machar welcomes treason suspects release” on Audioboo,