25th February 2020
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Meetings on contentious issues resume as deadline nears

Author: Jale Richard | Published: 3 weeks ago

Current IGAD Heads of State during the launch of the Ethiopian Unity Park in Addis Ababa in October, 2019. Credit/Office of the Prime Minister -Ethiopia

The parties to the revitalized peace agreement and IGAD special envoys are expected to resume meetings in Juba beginning today, Monday, to address the pending issues of the number of states.

This is in line with a timetable for the meetings released on Saturday by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development or IGAD.

The three-day meeting will start with meetings of the special envoys themselves before a meeting between special envoys and parties to the peace deal tomorrow and on Wednesday.

A week ago, IGAD postponed meetings between parties to the revitalized peace agreement and the Deputy President of South Africa David Mabuza, who has been mediating between the parties on the number of states and their boundaries.

The number and boundaries of the states are among the tasks that are yet to be agreed upon by the various opposition groups.

The government wants the current number to be maintained while the main opposition group, SPLM-IO, is pushing for a smaller number.

Several meetings between President Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar in Juba over the past two months ended without a break-through on the pending issues.

This week’s meeting is expected to conclude with an agreement to break the stalemate.

The parties now have 18 days to the February 22 deadline for formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity.

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