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UGANDA - 7 Nov 2019

Kiir, Machar agree to delay forming unity government

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar on Thursday agreed to delay key benchmarks in the peace deal by 100 days.

Both parties agreed to push back the deadline at tripartite talks hosted by neighbouring Uganda, a guarantor to South Sudan's peace deal.

The delay in forming a transitional government by November 12 came after the main opposition group threatened to opt out of the deadline, saying security arrangements are incomplete.

The parties had failed to resolve several outstanding issues as the November 12 deadline loomed for forming a transitional government with Machar as first vice president.

Key critical tasks in the peace deal have yet to be implemented, including drawing internal boundaries and creating a national army.

In a communique issued at the end of the meeting in Entebbe, both sides agreed to delay the formation of a unity government, just days before it was due to be established by President Kiir with or without his arch-rival Riek Machar.

The two principles agreed to review progress in the implementation of the peace agreement after 50 days and that a report will be submitted to the IGAD heads of state and parties.

“The parties agreed to establish a mechanism from the guarantors and the parties to supervise the implementation of the critical tasks,” the communique said.  

 Sudan and Uganda are guarantors to the peace deal that seeks to end nearly six years of civil war in South Sudan.

Today’s meeting also called on the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional bloc for East Africa, to address the status of opposition leader Riek Machar.

Puok Both Baluang, the opposition SPLM-IO’s director of information, confirmed the details to Radio Tamazuj.