South Sudan President Salva Kiir has said he and former vice president Riek Machar, signed a peace deal in Addis Ababa after threats of arrest from Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. The Friday truce, which has so far been violated, was intended to end five months of deadly violence in the country.
President Kiir said that after a lengthy meeting with Dr Machar, the PM told him that the problem had become tough.
“This matter has involved threats. He (PM) told Riek that you are not going if you don’t sign this,” President Kiir said, referring to a proposed peace deal.
“He told me the same in the morning. He told me that ‘if you don’t sign this, I will arrest you here’,” President Kiir explained the Ethiopian leader’s threats to a cheering crowd at the Juba International Airport upon his arrival on Sunday.
“I said ‘if you arrest me in this good place, I am sure I will get good food. So there will be no need to return to Juba. You will feed me for free here,” he said.
In the end, President Kiir continued, the PM gave to Dr Machar copies of the proposed peace deal, which he signed and were also handed over to the South Sudan leader, who in turn asked for time to present them to his negotiation team before signing.
President Kiir says his country’s first General Election has been postponed for up to three years due to objections of the Western nations. “I had said that we go for elections in 2015 as it had been scheduled. Let these people stand, let whoever wants to contest stand, we will all stand,” he said.