President Yoweri Museveni and South Sudan’s Opposition leader, Riek Machar have held a meeting to discuss peace in South Sudan.
“I want to start a new chapter of peace and friendship,” Machar assured Mr Museveni who responded that he was available to support any peace initiatives to stabilize South Sudan.
Mr Museveni last evening received and held a meeting with Dr. Machar who called on him at Masindi State Lodge in Masindi municipality.
Mr Museveni is camped in Masindi and Hoima where he is campaigning as NRM presidential candidate in the forthcoming national elections.
Dr. Riek Machar who arrived in the country with his 15 member delegation that included Ms. Angelina Teny the Chairperson of SPLM national committee for Security and Defense, Ambassador Ezekeil Lol Gatkuoth the SPLM chairperson for the national committee on foreign affairs and Dr. Peter Odwok the SPLM national chairperson for the committee for training and research among other, briefed President Museveni on the progress and steps so far taken to fully implement the negotiated peace process in South Sudan.
President Museveni and his guest also discussed a number of issues pertaining to the political, economic, security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan as well as the role and mandate of the Inter-Governmental Authority on development in bringing about lasting peace in South Sudan.
Mr Museveni, commended the progress so far made in bringing about peace and stability in South Sudan and the positive response of the two sides. He pledged the Ugandan government support to ensure that lasting peace returns to South Sudan.
However, the UN agency for refugees in Uganda has raised red flag over a continuous influx of refugees from South Sudan, which it said is fourfold since the year started and is a result new militia violence building up in the already distraught country.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHRC) said last week that this wave of violence has since the start of this year forced at least 8,000 South Sudanese to Uganda—posing a resource challenge—to the ongoing efforts to host the already existing sizeable refugees from the youngest nation of the world.
Charlie Yaxley, the UNHCR’s external relations officer in Kampala, indicated in a statement the fleeing refugees reported of armed militias looting villages, torching homes, sexually assaulting women and forcibly recruiting young men into their ranks.