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S. Sudan’s Kiir vows to strengthen relations with Sudan

August 21, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has vowed to strengthen relations with the new regime in Khartoum.

President Kiir waves hand to greet the Sudanese during the signing ceremony of Sudan democratic transition deal on 17 August 2019 (Reuters Photo)

Kiir on Wednesday held a telephone conversation with the President of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

A statement from the Presidential Press Unit (PPU) said Kiir outlined his priorities, top of which would involve improving relations with Sudan.

“President Kiir reiterated that the support of South Sudan to the Republic of the Sudan is driven by a genuine desire to live and prosper peacefully together as brothers and sisters,” it added.

Sudan’s main opposition coalition and the ruling military council have formally signed a final power-sharing deal on Saturday, paving the way for a transition to a civilian-led government.

On his part, however, the President of Sudan’s Sovereign Council thanked Kiir for his continuous support to the people of Sudan.

Sudan had earlier accepted to facilitate a meeting between the South Sudan leader and armed opposition chief, Riek Machar as part of efforts to implement the peace deal, an official said Tuesday.

On August 17, Kiir and al-Burhan met on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of a power sharing deal between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and protestors in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

In May, the South Sudanese rival parties agreed on a six-month extension to implement next steps in the fragile peace agreement. The latest extension came after the main opposition group threatened to boycott formation of a unity government on May 12.

Last week, the body monitoring South Sudan’s ceasefire (CTSAMVM) expressed strong fears over the slow progress in the implementation of the security arrangements in the September 2018 peace accord.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of attempting a coup.