National, News

Ruto appoints chief mediator for peace talks

By Kidega Livingstone


Kenya’s President, William Samoei Ruto, has appointed a chief mediator and assistant, to arbitrate peace talks between South Sudan government and holdout groups.

The development is resumption of Rome peace talks between the government and holdout non-dignitary groups that had stalled.

After the impasse, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit sought Ruto’s mediation for a possible breakthrough in addressing the grievances of the opposition parties, still fighting the government.

However, Ruto has now appointed a former Army Commander, Lazarus Sumbeiywo, as Chief Mediator and Ambassador Mohamed Ali Guyo as assistant for the talks.

Ruto, in his statement seen by No. 1 Citizens Daily Newspaper, said he had picked Mr. Sumbeiywo as Chief Mediator due to his experience in the South Sudan peace process nearly 20 years ago.

“Based on your wealth of experience and invaluable contribution in negotiating and signing a comprehensive peace agreement in 2005, I appoint you as the Chief Mediator from April 1, 2024, to June 30, 2024,” he said in the statement.

Outlining his mandate, President Ruto said Mr. Sumbeiywo would provide day-to-day leadership of the mediation peace process on his behalf.

Mr. Sumbeiywo is also expected to facilitate negotiations and interaction among the parties to achieve peace and political stability in South Sudan.

The chief mediator will report directly to President Ruto and provide a monthly report. In addition, he will also provide periodic updates to all stakeholders.

The stakeholders include the Advisory Panel Partners Forum and the Stakeholders Forum, among others.

According to President Ruto, the talks are also meant to achieve consensus toward the conduct of the election, as stated by his counterpart, President Salva Kiir.

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