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S. Sudan’s Kiir, Machar briefed on security arrangements

October 20, 2019 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir and opposition leader, Riek Machar were on Sunday briefed by the Joint Defense Board (JDB) on the security arrangement in the country.

President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar in Juba, October 20, 2019 (PPU)

The information minister, Michael Makuei said he meeting focused on addressing outstanding issues related to security arrangements and number of states hindering implementation of the peace deal.

The two rival leaders, he said, were also presented with security reports concerning implementation of the security arrangements.

According to the minister, Kiir and Machar will agree on the whether the transitional government of national unity will be formed or not.

The opposition leader was in Juba on the invitation of President Kiir to address the outstanding issues on the implementation of the peace deal ahead of the formation of a unity government on November 12.

On his part, Machar said he met Kiir to discuss the security arrangements, but failed to reach an agreement on the issue.

“The security arrangement has to be in place,” he remarked.

Both Kiir and Machar were also unable to conclude negotiations on regional states, another crucial component of the peace accord.

Meanwhile, South Sudan’s cabinet affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomuro said the army chief of general staff, General Gabriel Jok Riak assured the two leaders that 3,000 members of the protection force would be ready before November 12.

He said 900 of the forces will be from the armed opposition group.

“Machar should not complain about the delay in implementing some of the key mechanisms because he has representatives in all the committees,” noted Lomuro.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup.

In September 2018, the rival factions involved in the conflict signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.

In May, the two sides agreed to form a unity government in six months and in September said that they will establish a transitional government by November 12 as part of the deal.

(ST)