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South Sudan talks discuss power sharing, federalism

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th October 2014 07:34 PM

Talks to end the war in South Sudan have achieved a breakthrough with the warring sides agreeing to adopt a federal system of governance and power sharing creating a position of Prime Minister.

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Talks to end the war in South Sudan have achieved a breakthrough with the warring sides agreeing to adopt a federal system of governance and power sharing creating a position of Prime Minister.

By Raymond Baguma

Talks to end the war in South Sudan have achieved a breakthrough with the warring sides agreeing to adopt a federal system of governance and power sharing creating a position of Prime Minister.


James Datdet Dak, the spokesperson of the opposition faction of SPLM, and Ateny Wek Ateny the presidential spokesperson in South Sudan confirmed separately that they had agreed in principal.

Speaking on phone from Nairobi yesterday (Tuesday), Gatdet said that the two sides to the talks, agreed on a leadership structure of a President and Prime Minister.

However Gatdet acknowledged that there are still differences on the powers of the Prime Minister as well as timeline for implementing a federal government.

Gatdet revealed that while the opposition side loyal to Dr. Machar wants federalism implemented immediately, the Government of South Sudan wants to hold consultation with citizens on federalism.

The New Vision could not get the South Sudan minister of information Michael Makuei Lueth who heads the Government delegation to the talks being mediated by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional bloc.

However, the Sudan Tribune newspaper quoted the presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny as saying that President Salva Kiir had accepted to share power with the opposition on condition the Prime Minister will have no executive powers.

Ateny said, “The President has accepted a non-executive prime minister, because power is invested in people. The president is ready to work with anybody the rebels will bring, including Riek Machar, if he will be their choice.”

Ateny also said President Kiir does not oppose adoption of federalism, but would like peace to return in order to enable all South Sudanese participate in deciding the governance system.

In principle, the president has never opposed federalism. What he has been saying is that let peace be given a priority so that everybody is given an opportunity at an all-inclusive process to participate,” said Ateny.

Gatdet said the opposition wants a Prime Minister with executive powers, with President Kiir playing a ceremonial role since he would not implement the planned reforms if he remained President.

“We will try to persuade them because the President has been in power for nearly 10 years and has not done much. His role should be limited because we have a programme of reforms that we want to implement,” said Gatdet.

South Sudan talks discuss power sharing, federalism

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