KAMPALA – South Sudan President Salva Kiir and arch-rival Riek Machar are expected to hold a meeting in Kampala on Tuesday in what is viewed as President Museveni’s attempts to convince the duo to form transitional government before the November 12 deadline.
Mr Manawa Peter Gatkouth, the deputy spokesman for the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), confirmed the meeting in an interview with Radio Tamazuj based in South Sudan.
“The Kampala meeting will be attended by President Salva Kiir, President of the Sudanese Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and opposition leader Riek Machar,” he is quoted as saying on Monday.
The meeting will be third between the two principals since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in September 2018. Since signing the peace deal that would pave way for the formation of a unity government, the key parties have yet to agree on key things such as how to draw regional boundaries, how many regions to administer, how to maintain soldiers in camps or even share government positions.
Last Friday, Kiir’s side insisted the unity government under the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (RACSS) would be formed as planned.
However, On Saturday, Machar’s group indicated it won’t be party to the administration, arguing that key points of conflict have been ignored.
“The SPLM-IO wants critical components of the deal addressed. That is why we are of the opinion that we should begin with unification. The rest of the process can follow, at least to make our soldiers rest assured that something will be done,” Machar’s aide James Oryema said.
Last week, Ethiopian diplomat and special envoy for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) to South Sudan Ismail Wais, his Kenyan counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka and the Sudan special envoy to South Sudan Jamal el Sheikh met in Djibouti and vowed to push the two parties for a compromise.
The Kampala meeting also precedes an upcoming IGAD meeting on the 8th of this month in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, to discuss outstanding issues in the implementation of the peace agreement.
US officials have said they will not accept more delays and might impose sanctions if the November 12 deadline is not met. A UN Security Council delegation visited Juba earlier this month in an attempt to persuade the two sides to solve their remaining disputes over the pact.