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Sudan’s al-Bashir coordinates with Uganda’s Museveni for Kiir-Machar meeting

President Omer al-Bashir (R) discusses with South Sudanese Politician Lam Akol (C) as Foreign Minister al-Dirdiri listens during IGAD meeting on 21 June 2018 (Photo SUNA)
June 22, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir has dispatched Foreign Minister al-Dirdiri Ahmed to Kampala to coordinate with President Yoweri Museveni over the upcoming talks between President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO Riek Machar.

Al-Dirdiri will discuss with Museveni "ways to enforce al-Bashir’s initiative for hosting peace talks between Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar in Khartoum in order to ensure the support of all the actors in the region to the Sudanese efforts"

The President further directed to brief the Troika and the European Union representatives on the steps that the Government intends to take to implement its initiative for peace and stability in South Sudan.

IGAD head of states tasked al-Bashir to broker further talks between President Kiir and Machar as it has become obvious that the relationship between the two rival leaders is one the hindrance obstructing a lasting peace in South Sudan.

In his speech before the head of states and governments on Thursday 21 June IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan, Amb Ismael Wais, requested the IGAd leaders "to ensure unimpeded participation of Dr Riek Machar in the peace process".

After the meeting, the South Sudanese government spokesperson Minister Michael Makuei Lueth made public what Kiir said in his face-to-face meeting that Machar can no longer participate personally in the transitional government tasked with the implementation of the peace agreement.

The Sudanese foreign minister, among others, will also meet the IGAD Secretariat to discuss the preparations of the meeting including the presence of some technical staff members in Khartoum during the process.

Initially, al-Bashir wanted to have this meeting before the IGAD meeting and proposed the 17th June but it was finally decided that it takes place after the initiative’s endorsement by all the leaders of the regional block.

The IGAD didn’t yet release the decisions of the meeting of head of states and governments but Ambassador Awais in addition to Machar’s participation in the government, asked the meeting to engage the parties to sign the revitalized Agreement based on IGAD’s bridging proposal and to endorse the targeted punitive measures endorsed by the IGAD Council of Ministers during its 62nd Extra-Ordinary Session.

BASHIR-KIIR MEETING

Al-Bashir and Kiir met on Friday in Addis Ababa and discussed the ongoing efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation in South Sudan.

The Sudanese presidency said al-Bashir "encouraged" Kiir to move towards peace and stressed that Sudan stands for peace and stability in South Sudan.

Al-Abshir said the purpose of the talks in Khartoum on June 25 is "to bring the views closer", and added that "we are not interested in the venue of the talks" according to the statement.

When Khartoum proposed to host the face-to-face meeting earlier this month South Sudanese officials said they prefer to have it in South Africa pointing that Sudan, Kenya or Ethiopia have their own interests in the move.

The Sudanese presidency, however, said that Kiir pledged to be in Khartoum on the 25th for the talks with Machar.

Also in Juba, Information Minister, Michael Makuei told reporters at Juba airport that the President would travel Khartoum on to meet with Riek next Monday.

(ST)