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Khartoum talks extended to tomorrow  

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir and South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar talk after signing a peace agreement aimed to end a war in which tens of thousands of people have been killed, in Khartoum, Sudan June 27, 2018. /REUTERS

By Jale Richard

After three weeks of peace talks in Khartoum, the High Level Revitalization Forum scheduled to end yesterday with signing of the peace agreement in Khartoum has been extended for two more days.

The talks were pushed  until Thursday (tomorrow) this week after the warring parties and stakeholders to the South Sudan peace talks failed to agree on the latest power sharing proposal unveiled by the Sudan Mediating Team on Sunday.

According to the Sudan Mediating Team, signing of the peace agreement was supposed to have taken place yesterday but due to disagreement in the new proposal by some of the parties; it was called off and given two more days.

Michael Makuei Lueth, Government Spokesperson and delegate to the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) in Khartoum said after studying the new proposal they received on Sunday afternoon, the government delegation realized there were some changes compared to the Entebbe Agreement reached in the face to face meeting between President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar.

“We sent our reaction to the leadership of the Republic of South Sudan, and the leadership is in full agreement with us and according to the directives we should inform the mediators about our position, and that incase of any change in the provisions of Entebbe Agreement, that change cannot be done by anybody other than to call another summit (between Kiir and Machar) to go and review it,” he explained.

Makuei said the only provision they agreed on was in the Office of the President where President Kiir will lead the next transitional government with Dr. Riek Machar being the First Vice President in addition to four other Vice Presidents.

“Other provisions which are disagreed and which have been tampered with in the Entebbe Agreement are subject to negotiation,” Makuei said.

“It is clear that it will not be possible to the government of South Sudan to sign such an agreement because if we sign it will be worse than even the agreement which we are trying to revitalize now,” Makuei said.

He however assured citizens that the government delegation was working hard to ensure that they come out with a realistic, sustainable and lasting peace.
“We came here in search of peace, and we will get it wherever it is,” he added.

According to the new responsibility sharing proposal that the parties were supposed to sign yesterday, President Salva Kiir would lead the transitional period with opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar deputizing him as the First Vice President.

The mediators also proposed for four other Vice Presidents each to head the four government clusters.

The government will nominate two vice presidents while the opposition would nominate the remaining two with one woman.

They proposed for the next transitional government to be composed of 35 ministers, out of which 17 of the ministers would be for the government, 10 for the SPLM-IO and the other remaining eight to be divided by the other opposition.

Parliament would be made up of 550 and would be divided up as through the percentages of the responsibility sharing. The government was proposed 55%, the SPLM-IO 25% and other opposition groups 20%.

According to the proposal, the 32 states will remain to be decided by the inter boundary commission after formation of the new transitional government.

The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) had also rejected the new proposal.

However according to media reports, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by the former FVP Dr. Riek Machar had accepted the latest power sharing proposal presented by mediators.

 

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