JUBA – South Sudan president Salva Kiir and exiled opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny will meet in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa next week, opposition officials confirmed.
Senior opposition official allied to the exiled opposition said the planned return to the capital Juba today would not take place as initially announced. He said that President Salva Kiir and Machar would meet in Addis Ababa.
The last meeting between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar was Juba last month where they failed to break the deadlock over the contentious issue of the number of states and their boundaries.
SPLM-IO Director of Information Pouk Both Baluang said President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar are set for a meeting on the pending tasks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Saturday.
“Machar’s planned visit to Juba has been abruptly cancelled. The States of the African Union High-Level Ad hoc Committee for South Sudan known as (C5) have called for a meeting between Kiir and Machar in Addis Ababa on February 8,” Pouk said.
“The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the African Union summit, so the meeting between President Kiir and Dr. Machar in Addis Ababa will focus on all the outstanding issues,” he added.
For his part, the president’s spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, denied any planned meeting between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar in Addis Ababa.
“No meetings between the president and Machar outside the country. The president will attend a summit in Addis Ababa on Saturday, but there is no any planned meeting with Machar in Addis Ababa,” he stressed.
The rival parties have twice failed to form the unity government, first in May 2019 and then in November the same year, when they agreed to give themselves100 days to resolve disputed issues and form a unity government by 22 February 2020.
Under the terms of the 2018 peace deal, the parties are to create a unified army to reduce the chances of fighting again and agree on the number of states and their boundaries.
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