Odinga heads to South Africa next week for a reconciliation mission aimed at ending years of civil strife in South Sudan

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,2ND JUNE,2018-Opposition leader  Raila Odinga  will next week travels  to South Africa in a reconciliation mission  aimed at ending differences among  South Sudanese leaders to bring to an end civil strife that has been synonymous with the youngest country in Africa for decades.

Odinga is set to hold  separate  talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar over the unending war in the young nation.

Machar, a former Vice President, has been under house arrest in South Africa since 2016.

The Star has established that Western powers, including the US, are backing Raila’s efforts, because of his broad appeal to the warring factions.

“There are indications that regional organisations, including IGAD, want to formally engage him since previous peace efforts have collapsed,” a source close to the former Prime Minister said.

In South Africa, he will be received by Kenyan High Commissioner Jean Kamau.

In South Sudan, Kenyan Ambassador Cleland Leshore was on hand to receive him.

On Wednesday, Raila met European Union envoys and briefed them on his talks with besieged South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

The meeting took place at the residence of the EU Ambassador to Kenya, Stefano A Dejak, — just four days after Raila met Kiir for hours of closed-door deliberations last weekend.

According to information from Raila’s communication team, he briefed the diplomats on his engagements with Kiir.

Raila’s new role as peace envoy has the backing of President Uhuru Kenyatta and the former Prime Minister is treated abroad as the official representative of the Kenyan government.


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