Kiir, Machar disagree over number of states

Machar (right), Kiir (left). Photo: VOA

Juba, December 17, 2019 (SSNA) — The meeting between South Sudan’s rival leaders President Salva Kiir and the main opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar has ended without a resolution, a senior official of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) who was a part of the armed opposition delegation and who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) today.

The official explains that Kiir and Machar discussed a lot of peace-related issues but failed to reach a deal.

“Salva wants unity government formed by February 15 next year when the 100-day time they agreed on last month in Uganda ended,”  says the SPLM-IO official.

“Dr. Machar and President Kiir did not agree to form a government in February. Kiir wants a government to be formed by the end of the 100 days while he doesn’t want to resolve the issue of the number of States and boundaries including security arrangements,” the official explains.

It appears the President and the SPLM-IO leader are not on the same page.

“We agreed that after 100 days, we have to form the government. If there are things that are not done, we will work on them so that they are implemented,” Kiir said at a news conference after the meeting.

On his part, the opposition leader echoes his party’s views on the talks.

“We have talked about the number of states and boundaries but we didn’t reach a deal on the states,” Dr. Machar asserted.

The South Sudan News Agency was also told by the same source that the two leaders will conduct another face-to-face meeting. The official, however, did not specify when the meeting will take place.

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