Tuesday December 12, 2017

IGAD peace summit stalled over Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar’s refusal to sign proposed transitional government arrangement

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, left, is ready to begin talks with rival Riek Machar right (Credit: Reuters)

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ADDIS ABABA – The weeklong awaited summit of the IGAD states and government that concluded today (Monday) didn’t deliver as expected, as both warring parties of the South Sudanese conflict refused to sign a transitional government document that should pave way for an end to the eight months crisis in the country and bring a much awaited transitional government of national unity.  

The summit which was initially postponed on Sunday due to what IGAD called as “logistics challenges” in regard to delays of arrival of President Mayardiit who delayed for more than 9 hours to arrive to the peace venue, kicked off at a low pace on Sunday with light presentations and policy documents exchange between the warring parties. The IGAD secretariats than abruptly decided to postpone the sitting for today owing to the late arrivals of Presidents Museveni and Kiir.

Kiir refused to show up believing that the decision the IGAD would take at the summit will make him lose his seat. It took former South African president, Thabo Mbeki to hire a jet and fly to Juba to discuss and convince Kiir to come to Addis late Sunday evening.

Today, the two warring parties were told to sign the document that was given to them last night. The document entails power sharing arrangements, security and economic overhaul and reconciliation among others. In the document, the incumbent, President Kiir is to remain the president but with reduced powers. Dr Riek was to fill the newly created seat of premier to oversee government appointments in a federal state of South Sudan. Riek cannot however make an official appointment of some sort without the consultation and agreement with President Kiir in that agreement. Former detainees or the G10 were also given portfolios of second vice presidents and second premiers in the transitional document provided by IGAD.

The two principals of the conflict refused, saying it doesn’t reflect their will on how the transitional government should be. They therefore refused to sign the document altogether. Instead, they preferred this issues be discussed in an extended peace talks by IGAD mediators. How the divided IGAD heads of states respond to this remain to be seen since the group threatened a while back to impose sanctions on anyone found to breach any sort of agreement.

 

The Upper Nile Times

Tekle Mariam

A Senior news correspondent for The Upper Nile Times based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


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