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JUBA - 7 Nov 2019

South Sudan rivals urged to compromise

A South Sudanese civil society activist said rival leaders should strike a compromise if a lasting peace process was to be achieved.

This appeal comes as President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar prepare to meet in the presence of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the head of the Sudanese Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al Burhan.

The meeting, which is expected to discuss outstanding issues in the peace deal before the expected formation of a unity government on November 12, is scheduled to take place in the Ugandan capital Kampala today.

Edmund Yakani, executive director of the local charity Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), said on Wednesday that the country’s political leaders should put together a plan which includes a timetable for addressing pending tasks.

“Citizens expect compromises from the two principles during the meeting in Kampala. They are expected to make compromises on the most complicated issues, especially the security arrangements and the number of states,” he said.

“We understand that the security mechanisms had requested four months to complete the security arrangements, so we expect them to make compromises by giving the security mechanisms ample time to accomplish the task,” he added.

The activist urged South Sudanese leaders to resolve all the outstanding issues, and he also urged them to make “the necessary compromises” to move towards the formation of the unity government.

The key outstanding issues include the creation of unified forces, agreeing on the number of states and drawing internal boundaries.

The country's main opposition said last month that it would not be able to join a unity government on November 12 - a deadline agreed in May after talks in Ethiopia. The opposition group called on the government to release funds it had agreed to spend on implementing key interim benchmarks.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday called for a coalition government to be formed in South Sudan on November 12.