Both President Salva Kiir and opposition Leader Dr. Riek Machar have expressed the need to bring on board hold-out groups for successful implementation of the new peace deal.
This is one of the outcomes of the second meeting of the principals this week.
Generals Paul Malong and Thomas Cirilo are the hold-out leaders who declined to sign the revitalized peace agreement.
Thomas Cirilo is leading the South Sudan National Salvation Front or NAS; while Paul Malong is the chair of National Democratic Movement.
NAS has often argued that the 2018 revitalized peace agreement does not address the root causes of the conflict, and that his movement is “not after positions.”
Gen. Malong demanded participation in the negotiations of the peace talks last year but was denied the opportunity by the mediators.
He fell out with President Salva Kiir after being dismissed as the army Chief of Staff in 2017.
There have been reported clashes between forces loyal to Thomas Cirilo, and a combined force of the SSPDF and SPLA-IO mainly in areas of Yei River state.
During the two-day meeting in Juba, President Kiir and Dr. Machar agreed on several issues, including inclusion of Cirilo and Malong, establishment of a special committee to look into the boundaries and number of states, security laws, and dissemination of the new peace accord and freedom of media.
“The discussion between us is going on very well, and we will reach a solution,” President Kiir told journalists at a joint media briefing. “So, rest assured that things are going on well.”
For his part, Dr. Riek Machar also expressed satisfaction with the meeting.
“We have made important progress. There shall be frequent meetings, particularly after the summit of IGAD,” Dr. Machar told reporters.
Earlier, observers and members of the public, applauded the main signatories to the revitalized peace agreement, saying the face-to-face meeting is a significant step towards the implementation of a pre-transitional period before establishment of a unity government in two months.
The peace parties are expected to set up a unity government in November.
Inked in September 2018, the peace accord is expected to end the suffering of the citizens who have borne the brunt of the 5-year conflict attributed to power wrangles between the two leaders.
The deal reinstates Dr. Machar as the first vice president.
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