DEAL, Kiir, Machar agree on unity gov’t
By Jale Richard
After the second face-to-face meeting yesterday in Juba, President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar have agreed to form the unity government as planned in November.
“The parties agreed to establish the government in time,” Michael Makuei, the government spokesperson said after the meeting.
- Machar spoke gave a brief statement to the media, saying they made “important progress.”
“Juba is home and I have come back to Juba. Even if I go away for some time, the next coming maybe IGAD may determine my status to be free.to come and discuss more with you here,” Machar said.
“There shall be frequent meetings particularly after the next IGAD meeting.”
Henry Odwar, the Deputy Chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) said the discussions were fruitful tackling several issues concerned with implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.
The verbatim transcribe from the press conference
Today was the second meeting we had between the president and Dr. Riek Machar. We discussed quite a few things, all of it in regards to peace in South Sudan and the current peace processes that re ongoing. First of all we touched on issues of constitutional amendment, the draft that is going to be presented to parliament and we also discussed about the few security laws.
We also talked about the issue of non-signatory parties. As you are all aware, we have parties led by persons including Thomas Cirilo, Paul Malong, we touched on those, and the need to bring them onboard. Without them, this peace may have difficulties and that is why we have to move as one people, as South Sudanese.
We also touched on the peace dissemination. Right now, yes there have been a few fora in the capital of the states, but we want peace message to reach every corners of South Sudan including the PoCs, the diaspora and those in the refugee camps.
We also touched on the issue of political space, in that we need to have civil liberties, the freedom of speech, freedom of the press like you and other freedoms that every citizen should exercise.
We touched on the issue of funding because if there is no funding then we are likely to be going very slow in the implementation and meeting the deadline will be a problem.
On the issue of boundaries and number of states in South Sudan, the two principals have agreed that yes we will have a committee to look more in to the IBC report and if we reach a consensus that would be great but if we don’t reach a consensus, then the principals will have to come together again and come up with a final situation position on the number of states and their boundaries.
We also touched on peace that we want in Sudan. South Sudan and Sudan should have peace.
VOA: What kinds of breakthroughs have been made on these issues that have been discussed? We understand that Dr. Riek Machar is under sanction not to speak to the media. Can you tell us about this?
Well in the first place it is not necessary that the principals come and talk to you individually. You have seen them shaking their hands and you know very well that a handshake is enough and it sends a clear message. So I don’t know what is that particular thing you want to hear from the principals at a time when their representatives have talked here. Tut Gatluak has talked and Henry Odwar has talked. They are sending the same message. Those of you who did not hear what Tut Gatluak said in Arabic, it is exactly what has been repeated by Henry Odwar in English.
Number two for the achievements which have been made, we have made a progress since the first day when we met and discussed security issues. Security arrangement was the cornerstone for the peace agreement and yesterday the it was clearly explained by the generals who are in-charge of implementation of chapter two of the agreement, and they made it very clear, and the principals were satisfied about the progress being made in the implementation of chapter two of the agreement. All the forces at present are in the cantonment sites, they are being screened now and those who are screened will be moving son or have started to move to the training centers. This is the situation and this was what was discussed.
As for today, the parties discussed the issues which were clearly stated by Henry Odwar, but these are minor issues that did not take any time, these are minor issues that did not call for any disagreement, so the principals are fully satisfied that the agreement is moving, it is progressing very well, and as a result, the government will be established in time as came in the extended agreement.
There are no logistical problems in the cantonment sites. All the logistics are in the cantonment sites and all those who have reported to the cantonment sites are receiving their logistical needs as are required. So there is no problem about that. As for funding, funding is actually meant for buying these materials. They are not meant to be distributed in cash, they are meant for buying those materials which are already there now in the cantonment sites. So there is no question about funding. When we talk of funding it doesn’t meant that the money is paid to you at ago. No! It is paid according to the need. This is why you are paid monthly otherwise you receive your salary for the whole year.
Radio Miraya Have the parties agreed to form the R-TGONU in November?
Well I already stated clearly I think you were not following. I stated that the parties agreed to establish the government in time. When I say in time it means on the 12 November if that is what you want.
When is Dr. Riek going back to Khartoum?
He will go as soon as he finishes his mission here (toay?) I don’t know.
On the issue of boundaries you said earlier that they will establish a committee. When is the committee going to be established and when is it supposed to report back to the principals?
The committee will be established soon and it is supposed to accomplish its task before the next IGAD summit.