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South Sudan talks to resume after Eid holiday

August 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - South Sudan peace talks will resume within five days announced the Sudanese chief mediator in order to conclude the final phase of the peace revitalization process in Khartoum.

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El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed (AFP)

The mediation sought to bring the parties to sign on Monday the agreement on the bracketed issues, Article 4 and the implementation matrix but the SPLM-IO handed over its observations on the draft filed by the mediation only on Monday at 06: pm.

Accordingly, the Sudanese Foreign Minister El-Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed decided to suspend the talks until the 25 August because of the Eid al-Adha Holiday.

Speaking to reporters from the venue of the talks, Dirdeiry said it was too late for the mediators to work on a new draft agreement as the holiday will start on Tuesday. He further, said that the break is only for the mediators but the negotiating delegations will remain in the Sudanese capital.

For his part, South Sudan’s Information Minister Mickael Makuei stated that "the mediation decided to call off the talks only because of the Eid holiday," adding that "the delegations will be in a position to conclude all the outstanding issues and sign the agreement (when the talks resume)".

After the signing of the governance deal on 5 August, the talks resumed on 14 August. During the first three days, the parties discussed Article 4 on the number of states, the new five ministries and their clusters, the Judicial reform, the roles in the Presidency and composition of the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC).

The consequential amendments to Chapters III-VIII of the peace agreement on the Transitional Justice and the constitutional process were not discussed.

SSOA CONCERNS

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) said they want to discuss the " the Hybrid Court, Constitution making process and amendment of the Agreement" when the talks resume after the al-Eid holiday.

The opposition alliance expected that the SPLM-IO would have the same position on the need to settle these concerns.

"SPLM/A-IO has an extensive list of issues to discuss including some related to the matters referred from Addis Ababa that we discussed as mentioned above," said the statement signed by Lam Akol, SSOA Focal Point on Governance.

SPLM-IO Chairman of the National Committee for Information and Public Relations, Mabior Garand de Mabior told the Associated Press on Monday that they would not sign an agreement that doesn’t ensure “accountability and justice and free and fair elections” at the end of the three-year transitional period.

When the talks resume after the break and in order to finalize the implementation matrix, every party has to come with two delegation: a military one to discuss the security arrangement and a political delegation to discuss the remaining issues on transitional justice and constitutional process.

Talks are supposed to last for three days after what the parties are expected to initial a final revitalized peace agreement.

(ST)