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IGAD urges South Sudan parties to resolve all outstanding issues

November 9, 2019 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers on Friday urged signatories to South Sudan’s peace deal to hold consultative meetings in the capital, Juba to resolve the issue of numbers of states, boundaries and any other outstanding issues pertaining the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

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The IGAD Council of Ministers attending an extraordinary meeting on South Sudan in Addis Ababa, November 9, 2019 (IGAD photo)

The call came as the leadership of the parties to the Revitalized Agreement of Resolution of the Conflict on South Sudan (R-ARCSS) convened a meeting in Addis Ababa to discuss the implementation of the 2018 peace agreement.

This meeting was held a day after South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his main rival Riek Machar agreed to extend the pre-transitional period for 100 days after the agreed November 12 deadline expired.

According to IGAD, the parties reviewed reports from the agreement mechanisms consisting of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC), National Pre-transitional Committee (NPTC), the Ceasefire & Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring & Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC), Joint Defence Board (JDB), Strategic Defence and Security Review Board (SDSR-B), Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC).

The parties, IGAD said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, emphasized the need to develop a clear road map and an implementation timeline to complete the pending tasks within 100 days time frame.

However, the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan has been tasked to closely follow up adherence to the agreed upon road map and implementation time table of the pending tasks in close collaboration with the peace and ceasefire monitoring bodies.

Meanwhile, IGAD Council of Ministers appealed to the incumbent government of national unity to disburse the balance of the pledged $100 million needed to complete the critical pending tasks.

It further urged government and opposition forces to immediately vacate all the remaining civilian centers and populated areas.

The United States on Friday said it was disappointed after President Kiir and Machar failed to form a government, calling on the IGAD to establish benchmarks to assess the peace implementation process.

Machar had earlier said he would only be part of the formation of the transitional national unity government if the two issues of the security arrangements and the state boundaries were resolved.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy 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.

(ST)