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S. Sudan leader, opposition head meet for transition

Challenges will be overcome if all parties work effectively together, says official

Benjamin Takpiny   | 13.12.2019
S. Sudan leader, opposition head meet for transition

JUBA, South Sudan

South Sudan’s president and opposition leader called on security mechanisms to speed up the process of the pre-transitional plan to ensure a unity government is formed by mid-February, said on official on Friday.

The two main sides to the peace agreement, President Salva Kiir and opposition head Riek Machar met in the capital Juba on Friday to ensure they meet the deadline of the 100-days extension as of November 12, Puot Kang, a member of Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), told reporters after the two met security committees.

Kiir and Machar were briefed in the meeting by different security committees on progress and challenges.

“We have to increase our speed to meet the dateline of 100 days,” Kang said.

The challenges will be overcome if all parties work effectively together, he stated.

The Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomuro said the country is committed to ensure that peace is achieved.

He said that the national pre-transitional committee which is responsible for the peace implementation process have received $40 million from government to run their activities.

The amount was already distributed among all mechanisms in the pre-transitional committee, including $16 million for security arrangement, Lomuro said.

“There is delay but the mechanisms are committed to speed up now since they have the funds in their control,” he said.

The number and boundaries of the states and the security arrangements are among the tasks that are supposed to be completed before February next year.

Kiir and Machar were expected to form a unified transitional government by Nov. 12, in line with a September 2018 peace deal aimed at ending six years of conflict.

But following a meeting last week in Uganda held under the auspices of the regional body IGAD, the leaders and stakeholders agreed to extend the pre-transitional period by 100 days to allow critical tasks to be completed.

The president said he accepted the extension to avoid the risk of returning to war.

South Sudan slid into crisis when Kiir sacked Machar as vice president in December 2013 on suspicion of plotting a coup, followed by a protracted civil war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and forced four million people to flee their homes.

Before the 2018 peace deal, five years of fighting between the two leaders crippled the country, with millions displaced and almost 400,000 people dead from violence and disease.

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