Kiir invites Machar to Juba

Friday September 21 2018

Hope, scepticism as warring South Sudan leaders sign peace deal

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (R) and his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar shake hands as they make a last peace deal at the 33rd Extraordinary Summit of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa, on September 12, 2018. AFP PHOTO  


Kampala. South Sudan president Salva Kiir has invited his rival Riek Machar to Juba but the opposition leader wants his protection force to be re-deployed first before he moves.
On Tuesday, Mr Kiir sent an invitation to the leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) but Machar’s spokesperson, Mr Peter Gatkuoth, said it is “not ideal” for their leader to go to Juba.
Mr Machar is supposed to have his protection force redeployed after they were forced out of Juba in 2017 following deadly clashes between Kiir and Machar guards.
The two protagonists in the South Sudan conflict talked on phone on Tuesday and they are supposed to meet again today in Khartoum to celebrate the signing of the final peace agreement in Addis Ababa last week.

Address postponed
Mr Machar was supposed to address his supporters across the region through a teleconference on Wednesday but it was postponed at the last hour.
The SPLM-IO representative in Uganda, Mr Ambrose Lomin, told Daily Monitor yesterday that Kiir and Machar meeting would be a “celebratory event”.
The agreement signed says a three- year transitional government should be put in place in the next eight months with President Kiir remaining head of state.
“The transitional period shall commence eight months after signing of this agreement and the terms of office shall be the 36 months preceded by eight of pre-transitional period.”
After the transition, elections will be held. “The RTGoNU shall hold elections sixty [60] days before the end of the Transitional Period in order to establish a democratically elected government,” the agreement reads.
The Transitional Government is supposed to carry out National Housing and Population Census before the end of the Transitional Period.
The Transitional Government is composed of Government Republic of South Sudan, the former SPLM/A-IO led by Taban Deng, SPLM/A-IO led by Machar, South Sudan Opposition Alliance, and the Former Detainees.