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Civil society body welcomes pre-transitional period extension

November 9, 2019 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s civil society forum has welcomed the decision by the country’s leaders to extend the pre-transitional period for additional 100 days staring from November 12.

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From the left: Machar, Kiir , Museveni and al Burhan pose in Entebbe after the extension of the pre-transitional period for 100 days on 7 Nov 2019 (Sovereign Council Photo)

The agreement was reached during a tripartite summit attended by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, the chairperson of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and Kenya’s special envoy to South Sudan, Kalonzo Musyoka in Entebbe.

The civil society forum, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, urged the parties to lay out a clear plan of action during extended period to implement the remaining pre-transitional tasks such as the security arrangement issue and number of states and their boundaries.

The forum called for expediting the enactment of the constitutional amendment bill and the security and political parties’ bills submitted to the Justice ministry and urged the parties to vacate civilian areas.

“We call upon other parties to the agreement to endorse the 100-day extension during the Consultative Meeting of the Leadership of the Parties to the R-ARCSS on Critical Pending Pre-Transitional Tasks and Way Forward to be held in Addis Ababa on November 9, 2019", partly read the civil society forum’s statement.

The forum urged the principals of the parties to the agreement to meet every 21 days to review progress made in implementation of the pre-transitional tasks and address possible challenges along the way.

It further welcomed President Salva Kiir’s announcement on November 8 that government would release the remaining fraction of the $100 million it had pledged for implementing the peace deal.

“We call upon the president to expedite this process to prevent any further delay in implementation”, stressed the group.

Meanwhile, the civil society entity called on the regional bloc (IGAD) and the African Union to maintain diplomatic engagement and mediation efforts with the parties towards timely resolution of the outstanding issues.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup, allegations he dismissed.

In September last year, the arch rivals signed a revitalized peace agreement to end the country’s civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

According to the 2018 peace deal, a unity government was supposed to be formed in May, but due to unresolved issues, the parties agreed on extension of the pre-transitional period.