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South Sudan govt awaiting mediation’s new peace proposals

July 11, 2018 (JUBA) - The Sudanese mediators are still reviewing the draft agreement on the South Sudan peace revitalization forum, said the information minister Michael Makuei Lueth on Wednesday.

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South Sudan’s information minister Michael Makuei Lueth speaks to reporters in Bor, December 25, 2016 (ST)

Following a meeting held in Entebbe on Saturday, it was announced that the South Sudanese parties would sign in Khartoum an agreement on the outstanding issues in the power-sharing and governance and conclude the revitalization forum on Wednesdays 11 July.

However, the information minister who is also the spokesperson of the government negotiating team in Khartoum said the draft agreement was not ready and the Sudanese mediators are finalizing the text.

“Unfortunately at this moment the government of Sudan is still working on the document They are not yet ready. So, we are expected to continue for the next few days,” said Lueth who was speaking in Khartoum to the South Sudan TV.

The Sudanese mediators following a meeting in Entebbe including Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir, South Sudan President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO Riek Machar announced that an agreement was reached on the governance chapter.

However, the opposition groups including the SPLM-IO, South Sudan Opposition Alliance and the Other Political Parties voiced their rejection for what is called Entebbe proposal which brought important modifications to the initial document.

The most import amendment was the establishment of the fourth position of a vice-president instead of three. In return, President Kiir accepted to reinstitute Machar in his previous position as first vice president.

The proposal which dealt only with the power-sharing issues and ignored other outstanding issues like the number of states in South Sudan provides that the SPLM-IO will be given 100 seats in the parliament and the other opposition groups 50 MPs. All will join the current 400 MPs. The same for the government the SPLM-IO will get 10 portfolios, the other opposition factions 5 ministerial posts while the government keeps its 30 ministers.

Minister Lueth said his delegation will respond to the document that would be given by the Sudanese mediators once they receive it before to final signing ceremony which will be attended by the IGAD leaders.

“So let’s be patient for this important day and I’m sure we will sign it in the coming few days,” he concluded.