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South Sudan parties must compromise on critical issues: Troika

President Kiir meets US Amb Thomas Hushek on 7 February 2020 (SSPPU photo)February 7, 2020 (JUBA) - The Troika countries on Friday called on the South Sudanese parties to make the needed concessions paving the way for the formation of the transitional national unity government on 22 February.

The was made in a statement issued after a meeting in London on Thursday by the UK special envoy Bob Fairweather Norway special envoy Endre Stiansen and the new US envoy Stuart Symington.

The meeting discussed the implementation of the pre-transitional arrangements ahead of the scheduled formation of the national unity government within two weeks.

The three envoys agreed on the importance to launch the transitional period on time without further delay "and called on the South Sudanese parties to demonstrate the political will needed to move the process forward".

They pointed to the recent South African initiative to bridge the gaps between the South Sudanese parties over the number of states and voiced their concern about the failure of the parties to reach a compromise over the outstanding matter.

"This lack of political will could derail the peace process and undermine the ceasefire, risking a return to violence at a time when the South Sudanese already face a devastating humanitarian crisis".

"The parties to the agreement, including the incumbent Government, must be prepared to make compromises and agree (on) a way forward on outstanding issues, to enable the formation of an inclusive transitional government," they further stressed.

The three diplomats said that the IGAD and the African Union meetings on South Sudan in Addis Ababa in the upcoming days on the margin of the African Union summit may be the last chance to get the process back on track before the deadline.

In Juba, President Salva Kiir on Friday met with the U.S and Norwegian ambassadors at the State House, ahead of his departure to Addis Ababa for the African Union Summit.

"President Kiir discussed the progress of the Revitalized Peace Agreement and the formation of the upcoming revitalized transitional government of national unity," said the South Sudanese presidency in a short statement.

The revitalized national unity government is scheduled to be announced on 22 February.

After his return from Pretoria where he discussed with President Cyril Ramaphosa discussed the issue of states, Kiir met with the 32 governors of South Sudan states on 4 February.

At the end of the meeting, Maridi State governor Africano Mande told reporters that all the governors would hold consultations with their respective people over the creation of the 32 states

"The sentiments of the people in their respective states are clear and they would not let the people down," said Governor Africano.

It was reported that Ramaphosa strongly advised Kiir to compromise with the peace parties over the number of states and abandon the current costly 32 states.

(ST)