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Kiir, Riek agree to form unity government in February

Author: Emmanuel J. Akile | Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Dr. Riek Machar and President Kiir address the press at J1 on Dec 17, 2019. Credit. Emmanuel J Akile/Eye Radio.

President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar  have agreed to form a transitional unity government in February despite slow progress in implementation of the outstanding agreement tasks.

They reached the agreement on Tuesday after a meeting at the State House attended by the deputy chairperson of the Sudan Sovereign Council Mohamad Hamdan.

President Kiir said the next government should be established  in February next year as planned.

“I and the mediator (Hamdan) said that the government should be formed after the 100 days, if there is anything that needs to be implemented we will give the responsibility to the new government, because it is the government of national unity,” President Kiir told reporters.

“The second thing is that we agreed to make sure that the ceasefire continue to hold, nobody has the desire to go back to war,” he added.

For his part, Dr. Riek Machar said they also agreed to ensure some forces are assembled in the cantonment sites in the next two weeks.

“We have reached a level that next week or two weeks from now, we have to ensure that forces are assembled in some of the cantonment sites for training,” Dr. Machar said.

“We have to make sure that we meet the deadline of 100 days. We want to make sure that some soldiers are ready for deployment within the 100 days.”

However, the opposition leader stated that they will wait for the deputy President of South Africa who has been “working closely with the concern committees” to come to Juba.

“We will listen to his report and it might help us find the way forward,” Machar added.

The deputy chairperson of Sovereign Council of Sudan, Mohamad Hamdan who attended the J1 meeting said they talked about “even the minor issues because the leaders want peace.”

Last month, President Kiir and Dr. Machar, extended the pre-transitional period for 100 days to allow for the implementation of critical security arrangements, and determine the number and boundaries of the States.

But the peace monitoring body said on Tuesday that there is no progress in implementing the security arrangements.

There are 34 cantonment sites identified by the Joint Defense Board across the country but not all the forces have been assembled as the required by the revitalized peace agreement.

Dr. Riek Machar often argued that establishing security arrangements through the agreed reforms are fundamental, and are the “backbone of the formation of the next government.”

In October, a significant number of soldiers from the South Sudan Opposition Alliance reportedly left the cantonment site in Aweil state over lack of food.

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