Discussion on Status of South Sudan’s Peace Agreement with Dr. Riek Machar

On Tuesday, October 6, the Africa Center hosted a luncheon roundtable with Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, Former Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan and Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-in-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO).

Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham welcomed guests and gave a short introduction.

In his remarks, Machar discussed what he views as the biggest challenges to successful implementation of the most recent peace agreement in South Sudan, signed between Machar and President Salva Kiir in August 2015. These challenges included the continued presence of Ugandan troops in the country, Kiir’s suggestion that the terms of the peace agreement might require renegotiation, and Kiir’s recent controversial decision to divide the country into 28 states (rather than the current ten states).

Machar, who is to become First Vice President of South Sudan under the peace accord, also highlighted the importance of continued US support for the implementation of this peace agreement and requested that the US provide military, humanitarian, and logistical assistance to support the consolidation of peace in South Sudan. Machar also noted the importance of the South Sudanese diaspora communities in building international and domestic support for the peace agreement.

Also in attendance and participating in the discussion was Taban Deng Gai, Chief Negotiator of the SPLM/A-IO; Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuouth, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the SPLM/A-IO and former Ambassador of South Sudan to the United States; Alfred Lado Gore, Deputy Chairperson of the SPLM/A-IO; the Honorable Reath Muoch Tang, Member of the National Legislative Assembly of the Republic of South Sudan and Representative to the United States for the SPLM/A-IO; Angelina Teny, wife of Machar and member of the SPLM/A-IO negotiating team; the Honorable Johnnie Carson, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; and the Honorable Princeton Lyman, Senior Advisor to the President at the US Institute of Peace and former US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan (2011-2013).