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South Sudan to default on deadline to form unity govt

Photo: President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar speak to reporters after their meeting in Juba on December 17, 2019 | Credit: Eye Radio

February 8th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – With 13 days to meet a deadline for South Sudanese government and the opposition to form a transitional government of national unity, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) foreign ministers met Saturday to hammer out a solution.

Based on an agreement signed in Addis Ababa in September 2018 under mediation of the IGAD trading and security bloc, a transitional government should have been formed in May, leading to elections in 30 months.

But the pre-transitional period was extended six months with many issues pending, particularly security arrangements, federal state formation and military movement.

IGAD foreign ministers met on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

IGAD Special Envoy to South Africa Ismail Wais told Anadolu Agency the situation in South Sudan has been a point of concern for IGAD countries and partners.

“While the security arrangement is progressing, we have only 13 days to deadline for the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity,” he said.

The ministers are “bridging a proposal” to resolve the approaching deadline, he said, but could not indicate what the proposal would be.

Later, IGAD leaders are expected to discuss the proposal submitted by foreign ministers.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir is expected to attend the meeting, after which he would meet with main rival Riek Machar.

South Sudan slid into crisis when Kiir sacked Machar as vice president in December 2013 on suspicion of plotting a coup, followed by a protracted civil war that claimed tens of thousands of lives and forced 4 million people to flee their homes.

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