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ROME, ITALY (APRIL 12, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SOUTH SUDANESE FORMER REBEL LEADER, RIEK MACHAR, AND REUTERS JOURNALIST, PHILIP PULLELLA, WALKING MACHAR'S EYES PIN WITH SOUTH SUDANESE FLAG ON MACHAR'S JACKET (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH SUDANESE FORMER REBEL LEADER, RIEK MACHAR, ANSWERING TO REPORTER ASKING IF HE THINKS A UNITY GOVERNMENT WILL BE FORMED ON MAY 12 AS FORESEEN BY THE SEPTEMBER 2018 AGREEMENT, SAYING: "Unfortunately, I have to say no. For four reasons. We have not managed to form the unified forces, the necessary unified forces that would be deployed all over the country. We have not managed to demilitarize Juba, which is the capital, and other major population centres." INTERVIEW IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH SUDANESE FORMER REBEL LEADER, RIEK MACHAR, SAYING: "I for one said "look, maybe it's best for us to give an extension". (South Sudan's) President Salva (Kiir) and his other two vice presidents were thinking that maybe we form the government but I said the reason why we did not form the government eight months ago or seven months ago was because we wanted to implement these aspects, the security aspects of the agreement. They're critical. We have refugees that will not return if they don't feel secure, we have IDPs (internally displaced people) in the capital and in other major cities who will not go back to their homes which they have left five and a half years ago because of security problems so we need to establish adequate security from the two forces so that our people can have confidence that this agreement will hold. So it is unlikely that we will form the government by the twelfth of May." MACHAR'S HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH SUDANESE FORMER REBEL LEADER, RIEK MACHAR, SAYING: "The extension we need now from our calculation is about six months". INTERVIEW IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH SUDANESE FORMER REBEL LEADER, RIEK MACHAR, SAYING: "When we learned lately that the President that has taken over from President (Omar al-) Bashir is (South Sudanese Defence Minister) Awad (Mohamed Ahmed) Ibn Auf, a man we all knew, a man who had participated in the security arrangements protocol then we felt relaxed that, after all, if there is change in Sudan, Sudan will still maintain being a strong grantor for the peace agreement." INTERVIEW IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH SUDANESE FORMER REBEL LEADER, RIEK MACHAR, SAYING: "Well, you know, after we signed the agreement on the twelfth of September 2018 one was reconciled that if peace is to come to our people we must work together with President Salva (Kiir), you know, and this became stronger during the retreat and more stronger with the challenge imposed on us by Pope Francis yesterday." MACHAR'S EYES MACHAR SHAKING HANDS WITH PULLELLA MACHAR LEAVING
Dateline: 2019

Ex South Sudan Rebel Leader Says Believes Unity Govt Won't Be Ready By May...

Item ID: 112037096

By: Reuters

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