South Sudan President, Salva Kiir and the rebel leader Riek Machar have agreed to extend the formation of a transitional government by another 100 days after a meeting held in Kampala overseen by President Museveni.
Both leaders had agreed to form a transitional government following a pact signed over a year ago to end a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced a third of the population and wrecked the economy.
On Thursday, the two leaders held a closed meeting at State House Entebbe hosted by Museveni and agreed to extend the deadline for the formation of the transitional government by more 100 days.
The closed-door meeting was also attended by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan’s sovereign council leader and Kalonzo Musyoka, a special envoy on South Sudan from Kenya.
“The meeting agreed to end the pre-transitional period for 100 days effective November 12 and to review the progress after 50 days from that date and a report to be submitted to the heads of state and the parties,” read a joint communique from the meeting.
Last year’s accord, which called for a unity government, has been delayed because the government says it does not have enough money to fund disarmament and the integration of all the armed factions.
During the Thursday meeting, it was noted that there are incomplete critical tasks related to the security arrangements which necessitated the extension of the deadline for the formation of the transitional government.
The meeting also agreed to establish a mechanism from guarantors and the parties to supervise the implementation of the critical tasks.
Rebel leader Machar lives in exile in Khartoum and cannot travel freely in the region but the meeting agreed to send a request to IGAD to address his status.
Fighting broke out in December 2013, only two years after gaining independence when forces, loyal to President, Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar clashed, sparking unrest.
Troops loyal to both men clashed in the capital that December and ethnically charged fighting soon spread.
An estimated three million South Sudanese have reportedly fled the country while thousands more have lost their lives, plunging the country into chaos and economic ruin.
In the past, attempts to reconcile Kiir and Machar yielded little benefit as ceasefire pacts have been repeatedly violated by forces of two factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
In November 2018 the warring parties signed an agreement to form a unity government, which would see Machar return to government as vice president and the same was supposed to have been implemented by May this year before elections in 30 months the period was extended by another six months until November 12.
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