Juba, April 17, 2019 (SSNA) — South Sudanese main rival leaders President Salva Kiir and the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) Dr. Riek Machar have disagreed over peace-related rules guiding the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU), a senior SPLM-IO official who asked his name not to be published because of the nature of his work told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) on Wednesday in Juba.
The official who spoke exclusively to the SSNA in Juba disclosed that Kiir contacted Machar a few days ago and asked him to come to Juba by May 12 to form a provisional government as stipulated in the September 2018 peace agreement. The armed opposition says Machar refuses to accept Kiir’s move, citing several provisions that were designed as front before a transitional government is formed.
“Dr. Machar told President Kiir that a government can only be formed if key provisions of the agreement are implemented. He reminds him that the deal calls for unification of armies, dissolution of powers, Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) to decide the number of states, and many other key provisions,” the rebel official explains.
“We don’t know why the President would pursue a shortcut to peace when all important provisions are not yet implemented. We in the SPLM-IO believe that lasting peace doesn’t require shortcuts. Our leader wants peace implementation to be extended for six months so that we can execute all the main provisions,” the official asserted.
The official added that Juba and other main towns in South Sudan should be demilitarized as stipulated in the pact. The official also accuses the government of not disclosing the exact number of its military barracks, further accusing Juba of not being serious to implement security arrangements.
Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny recently claimed in an interview that security arrangements are not needed because peace has already returned to the country. Ateny asserted that the government guarantees Dr. Machar’s security. He went on to say that all the SPLM-IO officials who are already in Juba for peace implementation show that Machar’s security is guaranteed.
The South Sudan News Agency has learned that the SPLM-IO leader returned to Khartoum today after nearly a week at the Vatican where he attended a “spiritual retreat.”