August 3, 2016 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) -The Sudanese government has denied, on Wednesday, refusing to receive the newly appointed South Sudan’s First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai stressing that the replacement of former FVP Riek Machar remains an internal affair even if it violates the peace agreement.
- President Salva Kiir meets SPLM-IO Chief Negotiator, Taban Deng Gai, in Juba, December 22, 2015 (ST Photo)
The Khartoum based Akhir-Lahza newspaper, Wednesday published statements attributed to the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Obeid-Allah Mohamed Obeid-Allah saying that "Sudan is unwilling to receive" Gai because his appointment comes in violation of the peace agreement.
In a quick reaction to the statements, South Sudan’s Presidential Advisor on security affairs, Tut Kew Gatluak Wednesday, told Sudan Tribune without naming Khartoum that he and several officials in the government were "stunned" to learn of remarks attributed to senior government officials in a neighbouring country rejecting to work with the government.
“It is unfortunate and regretful if such remarks were uttered by senior government officials,” said Gatluak, adding he was shocked by the remarks the government will now verify the authenticity and the circumstances in which they were uttered.
Reached by Sudan Tribune the Sudanese state minister denied that government refuses to deal with the new South Sudanese first vice-president, stressing that he had only said that Gai’s appointment is inconsistent with the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).
"The news reports claiming that Sudan decided to stop dealing with the Government of South Sudan and to refuse to grant a visa to the new first vice president, are unfounded," Obeid-Allah said.
"We are dealing with the South Sudanese government, and consider Taban’s appointment as first vice president as an internal matter for the government of South Sudan," he further said.
"Also, we have no knowledge of a visa request he made to visit Sudan," he underlined.
The Sudanese official, however, reiterated that Gai’s appointment as First Vice-President is a violation of the ARCSS "but it remains an internal affair for Juba government."
Last Sunday Sudan hosted a meeting for the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) Partners Group.
JMEC partners called to put the implementation of the peace agreement back on track, and to stop the hunt of Machar and his forces in the conflict areas particularly, Western and Central Equatoria and to join the negotiating table.
Khartoum disclosed Monday it had refused a demand to undertake efforts outside the IGAD framework to reconcile the conflicting parties in South Sudan.
Sudan took part in a three-member panel including Ethiopian and Kenya tasked with the mediation of the peace agreement.