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REDLINE, TGoNU to renew mandate if peace talks fail


The head of AU Peace and Security Council Bankole Adeoye (C) with the team, Minister Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro and other government ministers during the press conference at the State House on 18th April, 2018. (Photo by Morris Dogga)

By Morris Dogga

The Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) yesterday said that it will renew its mandate should the coming peace process fail to yield any positive results.

Cabinet Affairs Minister, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro told journalists in a joint press conference with the African Union Peace and Security Council team that allowing the mandate of the TGoNU to expire is a “red-line” after a one hour closed door meeting with President Salva Kiir.

“If the parties to the conflict fail to achieve peace we will have to renew the mandate of the Transitional Government,” Dr. Elia said. “We cannot leave this government without a mandate. The mandate is all about National Security and the sovereignty of the country. It is about the interest of the people of South Sudan,” Dr. Elia added.

The government seems to be taking other alternatives towards keeping itself in power should the next round of talks fail.

Two weeks ago, the government spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth also threatened that elections would be conducted if the peace talks fail.

The third phase of the High Level Revitalization Forum which was schedule for the 26th of April, 2018 was postponed again to a later date.

The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is currently consulting with the parties to the agreement before the next round of the talks could begin.

The Opposition Alliance had also issued  fresh demands stating that President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Dr. Riek Machar be excluded in the next Transitional Government.

The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council is in the country to also consult with the TGoNU, civil society organizations and the faith based groups on their opinion about the next round of peace talks.

The delegation also visited the Protection of Civilian (PoC) site in Malakal on Tuesday.

However, Dr. Elia stated that the government position still conforms to the objectives of the HLRF.

Dr. Elia dismissed claims that the government had demanded for a change of location of the peace talks.

“We do not believe that transferring the talks outside IGAD and especially out the region or the continent is a good option,” he said.

“We feel that the mediators have gained experience. They now understand all the parties better and can now engage with us. We can now trust each other and improve on what is now on the table. What we cannot allow is the mandate of the government to die. We cannot accept that,” Dr. Elia added.

On his part the head of AU Peace and Security Council, Bankole Adeoye stated that the AU does not have any problem with the current location but rather they fully support the IGAD-led peace talks.

“There is no plan B for us at this stage. The only plan we have at this stage is that best window for peace must be exploited to the best before we can think of any option. What is critical is that all parties including the international partners should support the peace process. We are all throwing our support behind the IGAD-led process,” Adeoye added.

Ambassador Adeoye urged all the parties to work towards bringing permanent peace to the country.

According to the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) signed in August 2015, the TGoNU mandate would end in May this year.

President Salva Kiir shakes hands with Bankole Adeoye. Behind are members of the AU Peace and Security Council and TGoNU Ministers after the meeting at State House JI. (Photo by Morris Dogga):

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