JUBA, July 11,
(Xinhua/GNA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir is open to meeting rebel leader
Riek Machar as recently suggested by the African Union to expedite the
implementation of the outstanding issues in the peace deal both parties signed
last year in Ethiopia, a government official has said.
Lueth, Minister of Information and Broadcasting told Xinhua that Machar, leader
of the main rebel group the Sudan People's Liberation Army-In Opposition
(SPLA-IO) is welcome to Juba to have face-to-face talks with Kiir on speeding
up peace implementation as the parties are left with only four months before
the formation of the transitional unity government in November.
"For us of
course we have no problem with Riek Machar meeting the president, if Machar
wants to meet the president the doors are open for him to meet him. So he can
come to Juba anytime if he so wishes to come and meet the president," said
Lueth in Juba.
fears of the warring parties failing to meet the pre-transitional deadline,
saying that they could still accomplish all the outstanding issues that include
screening and cantonment of forces, determining the number of states and
demarcation of ethnic boundaries.
now in the process of establishment of the cantonment sites, all the other
issues are in place," he said.
The AU on
Tuesday called for immediate political engagement by the Troika (US, Britain
and Norway), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the AU
with the leaders of South Sudan to impress upon them the imperative for
engaging in direct talks in order for them to provide the required leadership
and cohesion in the implementation process.
According to the
revitalized peace agreement mediated by the regional body IGAD, the Technical
Border Committee (TBC) is tasked with demarcation of tribal boundaries and the
Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) will determine the number of states.
long said that the tasks of the TBC and IBC are challenging due to the fact
that president Kiir increased the number of states to 32 from the initial 10
states in 2014 which now remains a contentious issue as debate rages on whether
to revert to the former 10 states.
have already supported the reverting to the 10 states but the government is
eager to maintain the 32 states.
Lueth said that
both the TBC and IBC bodies have failed to fast-track border demarcation and
determination of the number of states within the period stipulated in the
revitalized peace agreement.
descended into conflict in December 2013, pitting forces loyal to Riek Machar
against troops loyal to President Salva Kiir which has killed tens of thousands
and displaced millions of people both internally and externally.