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TALKS: Peace parties ‘close’ to agreement-Makuei

Government of South Sudan and the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) have made their inputs into a ‘zero draft agreement document’ shared by the mediation team.

Minister of Information, Micheal Makuei, who is also the Rapporteur, stated that the views of the opposition and the government have been incorporated into what is likely to become a ‘peace deal’.

“Yesterday [Sunday], we received a zero-draft document from the mediation [team] and we have worked on that document and the opposition has worked on that document [too],” said Makuei.

“Today [Monday], we sat together with the opposition to come out with a draft agreement number one,” he added.

According to Makuei, the Tumaini initiative is on the right track, asserting that “We are optimistic that the agreement will be reached within the shortest possible period.”

Furthermore, he revealed that the government, opposition and mediation team also met with United States ambassador to Juba, Micheal J. Adler and they briefed him on Tumaini initiative.

“We have briefed him, and he [Adler] has promised that the American government will be ready to give any support in case they see any progress happening in time,” Makuei noted.

“We will continue with the negotiation and within the shortest period possible we will be in a position to reach an agreement and take peace to our people in South Sudan,” he continued.

Mr. Makuei also appealed to the South Sudanese to be positive and hopeful on peace.

In-mid May, the Nairobi parties signed the declaration of commitment – a framework of inclusivity to address the differences and boost the peace process.

The government and members of SSOMA group denounced violence as a means of resolving the differences and called upon all citizens to engage in constructive dialogue that pave way for peaceful resolution of any grievance.

They also agreed to open civic and political spaces, allow citizens to participate in peaceful political processes, and respect, protect and guarantee the freedom of expression, assembly and association.

Last month, the parties hit yet another milestone after reaching an agreement on the substance of their discussions on the document for building trust.

The document was developed in a confidence-building process that the Kenyan mediators initiated to align the contentious issues that were brought up by the delegations during the discussion.



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