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South Sudan leadership briefed on power-sharing talks

South Sudan leadership receives a briefing from negotiating team in Juba on 20 July 2018 (ST Photo)
July 20, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudanese President Salva Kiir was briefed on Friday on the recent development in the peace revitalization forum in Khartoum as the talks are stalled over power-sharing and governance chapter.

Peace negotiators Minister Martin Elia Lomoro and Minister Awut Deng Achuil briefed President Kiir and his two deputies James Wani Igga and Taban Deng Gai on their position and observations they made on the latest draft agreement on governance.

Speaking after the meeting, Lomoro didn’t disclose the conclusions of the meeting. He said they were in Juba to get the directives of the leadership on peace talks, stressing that the parties disagree on few points that he hopes to be settled soon.

He further stressed the government’s keenness to achieve a sustainable peace agreement avoiding the resumption of hostilities.

The South Sudanese government delegation strongly rejected several points included in the governance draft deal saying it included matters that had never been discussed in the past.

The South Sudanese government in its observations, seen by Sudan Tribune, rejected the dissolution of the Council of States saying this body "was never a problem" and it should continue as it is until the next general elections.

The Sudanese mediators proposed to send two members by state (32X2) to the upper chamber and to appoint its speaker from the SPLM-IO.

Also, the South Sudanese government team said the number of IGAD, Troika and African Union representatives at the Inclusive Boundary Commission (IBC) is superior to the South Sudanese delegates from the government and opposition alike.

Accordingly, the government delegation rejected it saying "This is a matter of sovereignty" and the foreigners (10 members) cannot decide on the future of the country.

Always on the matter of states, the government negotiators reject the 55% proposed by the mediation for the incumbent transitional government at the level of state and local government.

Instead, they asked for 80% for the government at the state level and the remaining 20% to be distributed between the opposition groups noting that 10% will go for the SPLM-Io, 5% for SSOA and 5% for OPP.

For the local governments, the delegation said the local government level was not included in the power-sharing chapter of the 2015 peace agreement.