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JUBA - 12 Jan 2020

Parties urged to compromise on unresolved issues

President Salva Kiir (R) and opposition leader Riek Machar (L) [File: Sam Mednick/AP]
President Salva Kiir (R) and opposition leader Riek Machar (L) [File: Sam Mednick/AP]

A leading South Sudanese activist has urged the parties to the 2018 peace agreement to make genuine compromises in order to reach a deal on pending tasks.

On Thursday, the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan, Ismail Wais asked each party to the peace deal to submit a position paper on the number of states and their boundaries.

Talks aimed at determining the number and boundaries of states will resume next Wednesday in the capital Juba.

 “Compromises for peace should be the expected outcome of the upcoming consultation meeting of the parties proposed to take place from January 15 to 17 in Juba,” said Edmund Yakani, executive director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, a national nonprofit.

 “Community Empowerment for Progress Organization welcomes the remarkable move of the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan. Engaging the parties to reach some compromises and middle ground on the pending tasks of the pre-transitional period before 22 February 2020 is critical,” he added.

The civil society activist appealed to South Sudan’s parties to write proposals with the spirit of having the political will to implement the peace agreement.

“The issue of number of states and boundaries, plus other issues such as enactment of the proposed amendments on the five security laws and trade-off on responsibility sharing is essential to be sorted out in the upcoming meeting in Juba,” he stressed.

Yakani urged South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza, who mediates the talks on the number of states, to strongly engage the parties to find solutions and not just discuss without tangible results. 

The rival parties have twice failed to form the transitional government, first in May 2019 and then in November the same year, when they agreed to a 100-day-long extension to resolve outstanding issues and form a unity government by 22 February 2020.