South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir vowed on Thursday to form the much-awaited transitional unity government amid unresolved outstanding issues with the main opposition, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-in opposition (SPLM/A-IO).
The warring parties are left with only three months of the six-months extended pre-transitional period they earlier agreed upon to conclude issues like cantonment of forces, demarcation of tribal boundaries and determining the number of states.
“We will form the unity government in three months. We will bring everybody to this government which will last three years and then we will leave everything (elections) to the people,” said Kiir during celebrations to mark the 64th anniversary of army veterans at the military headquarters in Juba.
He advised his rivals to prepare for elections at the end of the transitional period in 2023 aimed at ushering popular democracy rather than resorting to armed rebellion.
“Let us prepare to receive the peace agreement and so that we prepare to receive our brothers and sisters who were in the bush fighting us. We will receive them and work with them in the same government,” added Kiir.
He lauded the 857 liberation fighters both serving and ex-servicemen who were decorated with medals including members of the second company of the Anyanya 1 in the eastern Torit area who took up arms in 1955 against the Sudanese authorities commencing the two-decades long struggle for independence from Sudan.
South Sudan won independence from Sudan in 2011 after the end of the second Sudanese civil war which started in 1983 championed by the late John Garang DeMabior the founder of the ruling SPLM/A.
The East African nation descended into conflict in December 2013, pitting forces loyal to Riek Machar against troops loyal to President Kiir, leading to the death of tens of thousands and the displacement of millions of others internally and externally.
A peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in the capital, Juba, in July 2016.
Under the September 2018 peace agreement, opposition leader Riek Machar, together with four others, will be reinstated as vice president of South Sudan. Enditem