The reaction has been mixed among South Sudan’s warring parties to a 100-day extension for the formation of a transitional government of national unity.
While some welcomed it despite being ready to form a government on Nov. 12, the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar, had specifically asked for the extension of the deadline to form a power-sharing government in order to resolve outstanding disagreements.
But Tut Gatluak, South Sudan’s presidential adviser on security affairs and head of the national pre-transitional committee responsible for implementing the peace agreement, said the 100-day extension is only meant for security arrangements.
“All forces will be ready to report to cantonment areas and the extension will not be delayed further,” he said.
He said the extension period is only for screening, training and verification of forces and is not related to any other arrangement.
Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny confirmed that the extension was requested by Machar.
“We were almost ready to form the government, but Machar requested a 100-day extension. If there is any room for doubt, it should be addressed by the SPLM-IO.”
“If the SPLM-IO will not be able to come or accept the formation of a government within 100 days, then it is they [who will tell us what they want]. But on our part, we cannot extend it beyond 100 days.”
President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Machar were expected to form a unified transitional government by Nov. 12, in line with a September 2018 peace deal aimed at ending six years of conflict.
But following a meeting last week in Uganda held under the auspices of the regional body IGAD, the leaders and stakeholders agreed to extend the pre-transitional period by 100 days to allow critical tasks to be completed…readmore