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Juba says Sudanese minister makes misleading statements over peace deal

South Sudan's Information Minister Michael Makuei (File photo Samir Bol/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
July 19, 2018 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - South Sudanese Information Minister strongly criticized Sudanese foreign minister saying the latter misled regional and international community when he declared that the South Sudanese parties reached an agreement on governance issues.

Michael Makuei Lueth reiterated their reservations over the draft agreement on outstanding issues of governance and announced that two members of the government negotiating delegation will travel to Juba for consultations with the president.

He further said that Sudanese Foreign Minister El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed was not "honest to himself" when he announced that agreement was reached, stressing that the draft proposal has been rejected by all the parties.

"So, he is the one who is misleading the international community, the region and even the heads of states and governments of IGAD," said the South Sudanese minister who was speaking from Khartoum.

On Tuesday 17, July, El-Dirdeiry said he met the South Sudanese and received their "concerns" but none of the parties rejected the proposed deal. He pledged to study their positions and submit a new one including what they see suitable for peace.

However, the next day he extended the draft agreement which was similar to the previous one except a paragraph referring to federalism.

The Sudanese top diplomat said the agreement will be initialled on Thursday 19 July while the formal signing day will be on 26 July.

On Thursday, the minister told reporters that the initialling ceremony has been postponed at the request of the South Sudanese government which wants to hold further consultations.

"The parties are committed to signing the comprehensive agreement on July 26, which will end the conflict between the parties over the years," El-Dirdeiry said at the venue of the talks on Thursday.

(ST)