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Riek Machar Teny, First Vice President (L) and President Salva Kiir Mayardit(R) photo Credit: Sam Medick/AP

South Sudan opposition mulls meeting to speed up pending peace tasks

The opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement –in opposition (SPLM-IO) led by First Vice President Riek Machar is calling for meeting with President Salva Kiir to find ways of speeding up implementation of the various critical pending peace tasks.

Puok Both Baluang, the spokesman for the First Vice President said on Monday that despite the peaceful settlement of their differences with the SPLM led by President Kiir over the swapping of the ministries of interior and defense and veterans affairs, there are still important things in the peace agreement that need to be ironed out.

 “We are urging the President to expedite meeting so that we can address issues once and for all, so that we focus on the remaining chapters of the agreement that are crucial, this meeting also will lead to deployment of the unified forces across the country and contribute in stabilizing the security situation,” Baluang told The Juba Echo in Juba.

President Kiir in March relieved Angelina Teny, the wife of Riek Machar from the ministry of defense and veterans affairs which he swapped with the ministry of interior. The changes led to protest by the SPLM-IO since the under the 2018 peace agreement the party is allocated the ministry of defense and veterans affairs. Teny was recently agreed to take up the ministry of interior bringing an end to the stalemate.

“The reappointment of Angelina Teny as the minister of interior is a decision of the party especially the First Vice President, bear in mind the vacuum in such important and crucial ministry could have jeopardized the security mechanism that doesn’t mean the deadlock is over,” Baluang said.

Baluang revealed that the two principals have assigned Puot Kang Chol, the Minister of Petroleum from SPLM-IO and Benjamin Bol Mel, the Presidential envoy on special programs to coordinate meeting for Machar and Kiir.

 “The First Vice President is still waiting for the President to meet with him to discuss the overall deadlock and how to overcome them so that we can smoothly move forward to implement the remaining chapters of the agreement,” he said.

The parties are still yet to complete the full graduation and deployment of the 83,000 unified forces, enactment of permanent constitution and establishment of electoral institutions.

South Sudan plans to hold elections in December 2024.

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