Cover Story



Loom if peace talks fails


Michael Makuei Lueth (file photo by Jale Richard)

By Morris Dogga

The third phase of the peace talks is slated for late this month, the government has again threatened that elections would be conducted this year if there is no peace deal reached with the opposition groups in Addis Ababa.

Government Spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth said on Friday after the Council of Ministers meeting that the idea of elections should not be dismissed in case no peace deal is reached with the opposition groups.

“We should not also dismiss the idea of us going for elections. After all there is enough time and if it requires then we shall go for elections,” Makuei said in a response to whether there would be elections.

“We talk of going for elections if we see that the opposition is not serious and are dragging their feet with the plan that there appears a vacuum that would lead to illegitimacy of the government. If that is their plan, definitely we will think otherwise,” he added.

South Sudan was to hold general elections in July 2015 but the parliament extended the mandate of the government for three years until July 2018.

The Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan signed in August 2015, provided that general elections had to be held in February 2018.

The government had earlier said it would conduct elections this year. The move was widely criticized by civil society organizations and the international community.

In the on-going peace talks, the opposition groups also demanded that the current government be dissolved saying it was illegitimate.

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers meeting held last month decided that the next round of talks resume on the 26th of this month.

IGAD is currently conducting consultations with the different stakeholders to the agreement. The Council of Ministers is expected in the country to consult with the government before the next round of talks.

Makuei said the government was ready to go for the peace talks at any time. He said they were concerned about the number of days decided for the talks.

“Our concern is that if IGAD is serious, we cannot just start talking on the 26th and you end on the 30th and you said you have to come back with peace,” Makuei said.

The government spokesperson however did not elaborate further on how many days the government had wanted for the talks.



Denial against denial no Government harboring rebels

Sudan President Bashir [L] with South Sudan President Kiir [File Photo – Courtesy]:

By Morris Dogga

South Sudan government has refuted allegation by the Sudan government that it was harbouring rebels.

Instead, the South Sudan government accused Khartoum government of harbouring South Sudanese rebels.

Thursday last week, Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir was quoted accusing South Sudan of harbouring Sudanese rebels.

While addressing his supporters in Kosti, Al Bashir was quoted saying “Sudanese rebels are there in South Sudan, where they receive military support and weapons.”

President Bashir said it would not affect his country’s policy of welcoming South Sudanese refugees to his country.

Responding to questions from Journalists on Friday, Government spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth said it was not true that South Sudan was supporting Sudanese rebels.

“That is not true, the government of South Sudan is not hosting any rebels here,” Makuei said.  “Instead it is Al Bashir who is trying to cover up, because he is clearly hosting all the rebels of South Sudan,” he added.

He accused the Sudan government of providing training grounds for South Sudanese rebels.

There are training centres known to us, but he is trying to cover up,” Makuei added.

He said it won’t affect the diplomatic relations between the two countries adding that it was a normal thing in diplomacy which would be addressed.

After South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, Juba and Khartoum have always been accusing each other of harbouring rebels from both sides.





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