FINAL DEAL – Gov’t team back in Juba to consult
Michael Makuei addresses journalist at Juba International Airport yesterday (photo by Jale Richard):
By Jale Richard
The government delegation at the Khartoum peace talks arrived yesterday to consult the leadership of the country ahead of the final signing of the peace agreement this weekend.
The delegation will consult the government on the remaining three outstanding issues disagreed on in the initialed power sharing deal.
The government and opposition groups signed a preliminary power sharing and security arrangement deal last week but some members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and the Former Political Detainees (FDs) did not sign the preliminary agreement due to what they called “some unresolved issues.”
“This document is final and there are only three outstanding issues which are not yet addressed, they are not really outstanding but they need consideration,” Michael Makuei Lueth, government spokesperson told reporters at Juba International Airport upon arrival from Khartoum yesterday.
The main outstanding issue is the disagreement on power sharing in the states. The 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ACSS) had limited the roles of the opposition in the state level but in the current negotiation, the roles of the opposition are extended up to the Payam levels.
Other issues of contention are the composition of the National Constitution Amendment Committee (NCAC), a body that would incorporate the agreement into the constitution, and the composition of the committee to reform the Judiciary.
“We decided to come and consult with the leadership of the Republic of South Sudan led by H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit so that if we go back from here we can go back fully informed and fully authorized on the final position,” Makuei said.
The government spokesperson revealed that the final agreement will be signed on August 5th in Khartoum to be attended by all Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) country heads of states.
Makuei said the delegation will go back to Khartoum “as soon as possible” to prepare for the final signing ceremony later this weekend.
“The government has been trying its level best all these times and we have brought peace. Peace is now in the country, security arrangements are now in place, there is no fighting, there are no violations, even if there are violations then they will be reported,” Makuei added.
Makuei said if some of the organizations such as the FDs and the SSOA that did not initial the preliminary deal do not want to sign the agreement, they would not be forced to sign.
“We hope that they will be in position to convince themselves and sign. Otherwise anybody who refuses to sign will not be forced to sign because if they are forced to sign definitely they will not abide by it,” he said.
Makuei said the most important thing was that the government agreed with Dr. Riek Machar’s main rebel group “because we are more concerned with those who have armies so that peace prevails.”
“We will proceed to implement the agreement without them, (FDs and SSOA),” he added.
Makuei applauded the Sudanese government for mediating the South Sudan peace process “because Sudan understands our problems better than others.”
He said when they went to Khartoum for the negotiations they (Khartoum) know all the warring parties in details.