MACHAR’S Juba visit abruptly suspended
By: Sheila Ponnie
Dr. Riek Machar’s visit to Juba has been abruptly cancelled,
The Sudan’s People’s Liberation Movement /Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) Director of Information and Public Relations, Pouk Both Baluang said Dr. Machar would meet with President Kiir on the side-line of the AU summit called for by the States of African Union High level Ad-Hoc committee known as the C5.
He confirmed that the meeting would take place on the 8th February 2020 in Addis Ababa.
He said the cancelation of his visit was to prepare them to focus on the outstanding issues before the formation of the unity government on the 22nd of this month.
“The meeting will take place on the sideline of the African Union summit. It will focus on all the outstanding issues,” Pouk told Juba Monitor on an interview.
He was supposed to travel to Juba to meet with the African Union and the IGAD envoys to discuss the stalemate on the number of states and boundaries.
The South African Vice President David Mabuza is already in the Country for the Consultation on the number of states.
Dr. Machar’s absence means that the special envoys would now separately consult with the leadership of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) who had earlier rejected the proposal to refer the stalemate on the number of states to an arbitration court.
They would also hold bilateral talks with the leaders of the Other Political Parties (OPP), according to the program.
With just 18 days left to the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU), the consultation is yet another attempt by IGAD and the African Union to break the deadlock on the number of states and boundaries-one of the sticking issues that all the parties have differed on.
It is yet to be seen if the impasse on the number of states can be resolved since previous engagement between the parties ended without any agreement.