Home | News    Sunday 15 July 2018

Govt says extension of Kiir’s term will boost peace in South Sudan

South Sudanese government spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth (Photo ST)
July 14, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government rejects accusations that the extension of the mandate of President Salva Kiir for additional three years will affect the peace talks or the implementation of any deal struck between the parties to the process.

The opposition groups condemned the constitutional amendment extending Kiir’s term until August 2021 and called for regional and international pressures to dissuade him from signing the bill.

In statements released in Juba on Friday evening, the government spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth denounced the opposition negative responses over the extension of the government and parliament terms saying the measure will boost peace process.

"This (amendment) has actually discredited the rebels or the opposition groups because they wanted the government to continue up to August so they declare the government to be illegitimate. The parliament, now, has deprived them of that and this why they are very bitter and angry," said the minister.

The information minister who was speaking from Khartoum where the peace talks are taking place added that the extension of the government mandate has no negative impact on the would-be signed agreement, as the opposition claim.

"This is not true this will boost the agreement because it will guarantee the continuity of the government. It will not allow them to drag their feet," he said.

He further said the new revitalized agreement will be incorporated into the transitional constitution once it is signed and consequently amend the fundamental law.

"So, that will not, in any way, have a negative impact on the agreement on the would be agreed provisions but it would have a positive impact because it will guarantee the continuity of the govt instead of creating a constitutional vacuum that we do not require," he asserted.

It was noted that the main rebel group; SPLM-IO, did not issue a statement denouncing the constitutional move as it was the case for the other opposition groups participating in the peace revitalization process which has been transferred to Khartoum.

SIGNING OF PEACE DEAL

Minister Lueth reiterated his government commitment to the Entebbe Proposal over power-sharing and governance chapter. He further said even the opposition leaders who reneged on the understanding reached on 7 July they will nevertheless sign the agreement.

He further disclosed that the signing ceremony has been scheduled for the 17th July due to the trip of President Omer al-Bashir to Russia and but mainly because the mediation deal still working on the final draft agreement.

"To the people of South Sudan, I say yes peace in coming. We will go back from here with this," he stressed.

The opposition groups have criticized the Entebbe compromise reached by President Yower Museveni, Omer al-Bashir, Salva Kiir and the SPLM-IO leader saying they have been excluded from the discussions.

They are blamed the proposal pointing it only focus on the power-sharing aspects but neglected the institutional reforms.

However, the Entebbe Proposal has been seen by the IGAD as positive because it settled the thorny issue of Riek Machar participation in the transitional government.

It was purported from the Sudanese capital that the mediation seeks to convince the opposition parties to accept the deal as the governance chapter includes all the needed mechanisms to achieve the democratic reforms and reshape the territorial administration.

The Khartoum round of talks was supposed to finalize the outstanding issues on the governance and the security arrangements within two weeks but still, the parties diverge over the governance chapter.

(ST)