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Museveni to meet Salva Kiir and Riek Machar over security related matters

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President Yoweri Museveni has invited South Sudan President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar over security related matters.

South Sudanese Presidential Affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the meeting slated for February in Kampala will discuss ways through which stalemates over formation of South Sudan Peoples Defence Forces, screening, graduation from the training centers, unification, and deployment of the unified forces envisaged to form a nuclear of the national army will be resolved.

“His Excellency President Museveni sent an invitation to His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit. The First Vice President has also received an invitation. The invitations are for a retreat which will be in Uganda. Arrangements are being made”, Marial Benjamin said, without giving further details.

It remains unclear if the other four vice presidents will also attend the retreat.

Uganda and Sudan are the guarantors of the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement and are constantly seen as the countries with direct knowledge and close contacts with South Sudanese rival leaders to influence talks and persuade them to break deadlocks over critical issues.

Last year, the Ugandan leader and the head of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Gen.  Abdel Fattah al-Burhan convened a high-level meeting at which Kiir and Machar agreed to extend the timeframe earmarked for activities scheduled to have been carried in the pre-transitional period.

The South Sudanese parties have failed to agree over differences arising from power sharing percentage in the formation of the unified command structure. For instance while President Kiir and members of his group are pushing for a 60 per cent share in the overall unified command structure, his deputy is advocating for a 50%-50% split of the military command structure.

The parties have also been unable to organize their forces in a way reflective of a conventional military structure in which a ranking is determined by size of military force under command of a particular officer.

Military experts have, however, advised the South Sudanese parties to organize their forces and ranking along conventional structures of the military.

President Kiir has, in the past, assured the public that the country’s general elections would be held as stipulated in the revitalized peace agreement, despite the fact that the security arrangements are yet to be implemented.

According to Article 1.20.5 of the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), the National Elections Commission (NEC) shall, 60 days prior to end of the transitional period, organize elections in accordance with provisions of the permanent constitution.

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