IGAD calls crisis meet over Kiir, Machar

By David Lumu

Last year, the two warring faction signed the Khartoum agreement, committing to end the conflict, which started in December 2013.

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CONFLICT

Following fresh disagreements between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, over the formation of a transitional government, the Inter-Governmental Authority of Development (IGAD), has called for a consultative meeting in Ethiopia.

The formation of the transitional government in South Sudan was scheduled for this month but Machar recently  refused to return to Juba, citing challenges related to his security.

On the other hand, Kiir says that Machar’s delay to return to Juba would not only affect the formation of the transitional government but also crush the hopes of the people of South Sudan for peace.

To resolve the emerging impasse, the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Dr. Ismail Wais, has called all leaders of parties to the South Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement, for a special meeting to pave a way forward.

“The aim of the meeting is to take stock of the implementation of the (the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan) R-ARCSS agreement, challenges and the way forward.

The delegation is expected to develop a clear roadmap for the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) as well as the pending tasks of the agreement,” Abdullahi Busuri, the South Sudan IGAD communication officer said in a statement issued yesterday.

The two-day meeting, which starts on May 2, will be convened at Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa, and foreign ministers, security chiefs, from IGAD member states, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea and Kenya, are expected to attend.

Kiir and Machar are also expected to attend the meeting, whose resolutions will be forwarded to the Heads of State, African Union and the United Nations Security Council, for implementation.

Last year, the two warring faction signed the Khartoum agreement, committing to end the conflict, which started in December 2013.

Recently, in his Easter message, Kiir urged Machar to return to Juba, saying that: “The whole Agreement hinged on the formation of the unity government and any delays to this would be an act of bad faith in the eyes of our people.

The country is ready for a new spirit and the dawn of a new sense of national unity and no better way to express this than to create a government that brings all parties together.”

However, Machar said that the 700-strong presidential protection force, which was agreed upon, is not yet in place.

In April, Kiir and Machar met Pope Francis in Vatican, to among other things set pace for the formation of the transitional government.

However, Machar argues that re-unification of the militia groups, is crucial for the pre-transitional period.

The lack of international financial support to the transitional government process is the other challenge that the South Sudanese government has pointed out.

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