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Efforts with non-signatories of south Sudan governance deal to continue in Nairobi: Sudan FM

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Sudan's FM at the signing ceremony of the security arrangements agreement 6 July 2018 (ST Photo)

August 4, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan foreign minister who is also the IGAD mediator for the Khartoum Round of South Sudan peace revitalization talks said efforts will continue in Nairobi Round to bring the non-signatories to join the agreement on outstanding issues on governance.

Khartoum on Sunday will witness the signing of the agreement on governance by the South Sudanese government, SPLM-IO, Other Political Parties (OPP) and South Sudan United Movement (SSUM). The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and the FDs reject the deal.

In a press conference held in Khartoum on Saturday, El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed confirmed that the SSOA and FDs will not be among the signatories of the governance deal despite one-month talks on outstanding issues.

He stressed that the boycott of these forces will not affect the signing ceremony scheduled for Sunday, pointing that 90% of the terms of the agreement have been completed so that the holdout groups can join it in the future at any stage next.

"The main parties, who have troops on the ground, will sign the agreement," he further said,

He pointed out that the only remaining disagreement is related to the power-sharing at the state and local governments level power.

In a joint statement released on 3 August, the SSOA and FDs said they are objected to the power-sharing ratios in article 5/1 of the deal which gives the incumbent government 55%, SPLM-IO 27, SSOA 10% and OPP 8%.

However, the two groups said their major concern remains the referendum introduced by the Sudanese mediator as the default solution if the parties fail to reach an agreement within the Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC).

Instead, they proposed to reestablish the 10 states, divide the territorial administration into 79 counties, return to the old system of the three regions or, as a last resort, arbitration.

The Sudanese top diplomat, however, said that Khartoum round of talks has achieved a lot in the resolution of the outstanding issues.

"We will hand the Kenyan president a file free from any obstacles," he said.

REGIONAL SUPPORT

The minister who recently visited the IGAD countries and Rwanda the chairperson of the African Union said they received assurances from the countries of the region and the Troika to support the Khartoum agreement for peace of South Sudan.

He further said his country does not expect any favour from the international community for its efforts to bring peace and stability in South Sudan. Further, he added that his government has no leverage on the negotiating parties.

El-Dirdeiry acknowledged the lack of the international support for the peace process in South Sudan. Also, he said there was no international scepticism towards Khartoum’s mediation of the inter South Sudanese conflict.

He added that Khartoum does not have a veto on the South Sudan parties and did not threaten to impose sanctions on them as the international community does. Also, he added that Sudan has no relief or humanitarian assistance to stop in order to press them.

"We are all poor and we share poverty in Africa, but we want to get South Sudan out of its crisis," he said.

(ST)

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