OIL DEAL ON: Sudan President Omar Bashir and his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir during Bashir the former's visit to Juba. Photo credit/sudantribune.com

KAMPALA-The Presidents of South Sudan and Sudan will arrive in Uganda on Saturday to meet President Museveni over peace talks between the warring parties in South Sudan.

A message issued by State House on Friday said the two leaders would arrive in the country on Saturday morning.

The two leaders will hold a meeting with Ugandan leader on the South Sudan conflict that displaced millions and left thousands dead.

Riek Machar was an instrumental figure in South Sudan’s fight for independence from Sudan. Yet since his exile, he has been frozen out of the peace process, angering members of his armed opposition.

Moreover, the decision by IGAD to transfer the rebel leader to a country outside of the East African region, has further strengthened suspicion that the regional bloc is biased in favour of Kiir.

IGAD, together with regional and international partners, have been trying to revitalize fledgling peace talks. Their efforts saw Machar declare a cessation of hostilities with the government of Salva Kiir on December 21, 2017.

Scarcely a day later, however, was it back to business as usual, as offensives were launched by both sides and President Salva Kiir demanded that diplomats and journalists cease publishing ‘negative’ reports.

The conflict, which began in 2013 as a political fallout between Machar and Kiir, has escalated into ethnic violence and the displacement of over 2.2 million people.

Today, the world’s newest nation should be benefitting from its rich oil reserves. It is instead facing famine and severe food shortages. And the patience of the international community is running out.

How much of the multi-layered conflict – that has at various times implicated Uganda, Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia – can be blamed on Machar? His wife maintains that the rebel leader has always sought peace.