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ADDIS ABABA - 6 Sep 2019

Kiir ready for talks with Machar in Juba: IGAD

The IGAD special envoy for South Sudan, Ismail Wais said President Salva Kiir was ready to meet with opposition leader Riek Machar in Juba.

In a press statement extended to Radio Tamazuj on Friday, the regional grouping IGAD said its special envoy for South Sudan, Ismail Wais met with President Kiir in Juba where they discussed the status of implementation of the September 2018 peace deal.

The especial envoy, the statement said, emphasized that a face-to-face meeting between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar is key to unlocking some of the challenges surrounding the outstanding issues.

“In this regard, President Kiir expressed his willingness and readiness to meet with Dr. Machar in Juba,” the statement reads in part.

The statement pointed out that the special envoy urged Kiir to continue doing whatever is possible, within his powers and resources available to ensure full implementation of the peace agreement.

The regional bloc further said its special envoy underscored the need to disburse the balance of $100 million pledged by the government in May 2019, to expedite the implementation of pending tasks, in particular, those relating to cantonment and training of forces.

 The issue of non-signatories was also discussed and the special envoy expressed his commitment to continue engaging the non-signatories, according to the statement.

President Salva Kiir, opposition leader Riek Machar and a handful of other opposition groups signed a peace deal in September 2018.The parties had been unable to create a unified army and determine the number of states since the agreement had been signed.

In May, the parties to the peace deal extended the pre-transitional period for another six months before forming the transitional government.