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SudaTribune.com: South Sudan president rejects two army system during interim period

Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam

Date: Wednesday, 31 January 2018

South Sudan president rejects two army system during interim period


Kiir addresses a news conference inside his office in the capital Juba September 12, 2013 (Reuters photo)
January 31, 2018 (JUBA)- South Sudan president Salva Kiir has rejected any views which advocate either retention of the two armies system during the interim period in the revitalization forum, citing the July 2016 events at the presidential palace.

Within days, the signatories of the South Sudan peace agreement will meet in Addis Ababa to discuss its implementation.

The security arrangements of the deal provide the establishment of separate camps for cantonment of the two armed forces "to enable personnel, weapons and equipment accountability, screening, re-organization and/or disarmament and demobilization".

Presidential affairs minister Mayiik Ayii Deng told reporters that President Kiir used the opportunity of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa to explain to several African leaders the need to review this disposition during the revitalization process when it resumes its meeting soon.

“The participation of His Excellency General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan in the African Union summit was highly appreciated and commended by the several heads of state and government from the continent. This stemmed from the way he presented the issues and how the government has rolled out plans and initiatives to end the war and bring peace in the country,” said Minister Deng upon the return of the president to Juba from Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

The South Sudanese leader, according to the minister, had rejected views advocating either retention of the two-army system, citing caused of clashes between two rival forces at the presidential palace in 2016.

Kiir discussed the matter with several African heads of state and government, including presidents of Djibouti, Uganda and Rwanda who is the new chairperson of the regional body. Also, he met the vice president of Equatorial Guinea and other leaders.

The head of state had fruitful discussions during which he briefed them on what the government was doing to end the suffering of civilians and to end the war, explained the minister.

Further, Kiir explained to the African leaders the national dialogue process.

"It is a bottom-up approach and it is, therefore, a complementary to the revitalization forum," the minister said.

"What the president explained clearly is that the issue of two armed forces which caused the problem. So revitalization should not return to it. There should not be two armies,” he emphasised.

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