AU taskforce renews bid for direct Kiir, Machar talks

Thursday July 11 2019

South Sudan President Salva Kiir (right) and

South Sudan President Salva Kiir (right) and arch-rival Riek Machar shake hands in front of Uganda President Yoweri Museveni during peace talks at State House Entebbe, Uganda on July 7, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By The East African

An Africa Union taskforce on restoring peace in South Sudan says broad political engagement with President Salva Kiir and his former vice president Riek Machar is urgently needed to kick-start direct talks between the two leaders which is crucial in implementation of the revitalised agreement.

With four months to go to November 14 when a new interim government is supposed to be formed the taskforce known as C5 says the face to face talks would provide the required leadership, cohesion, inspire public confidence and facilitate reconciliation at all levels of the nation.

"There is need to generate further impetus on the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement," the AU high level Ad Hoc Committee for South Sudan said in a communique on July 9.

The taskforce is chaired by South Africa and comprises Algeria, Chad, Nigeria and Rwanda.

During its meeting on the sidelines of the AU extraordinary summit in Niamey, Niger on July 6 the C5 group said the formation of the transition government should not be postponed again despite identifying a number of key tasks had not been accomplished.

"In order to ensure that the interim government is established without any further delay, the Committee stated that this extension should be final," the C5 said, roping in the AU and IGAD to steer the political engagement.

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