By Joseph Oduha
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir will go ahead and announce a transitional government of national unity on Friday despite his rival Riek Machar’s unwillingness to travel to Juba.
Reports indicated that President Kiir (pictured) will announce a government of 16 ministers, including two former detainees and two additional ones from other political parties other than Dr Machar’s faction if its leader declined to honour a seven-day ultimatum to come to Juba.
However, the activist Juba-based Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation’s executive director, Mr Edmund Yakani, told a news conference in Juba on Monday that an interim administration without Dr Machar poses doubts as to whether the parties to the peace agreement were ready to honour the peace or not. The opposition leader has conditioned his return to Juba on the demilitarisation of Juba and integration of police units.
This, according to him, was as per the peace deal signed by the two principals.
Last week while in Addis Ababa, Dr Machar reiterated that security arrangements especially the demilitarisation of Juba and installation of his protection forces should be quickly dealt with prior to his arrival.
The same week, the government had identified some locations for Dr Machar’s forces to be stationed in.
Mr Yakani urged the parties to speed up security arrangements and avoid any inconveniences that delayed the implementation of the peace.
Alternately, he appealed to the international community to help transport Dr Machar’s forces to Juba in readiness for their integration into the joint police force. “If the partners to the peace agreement can move faster in implementing the peace, this means a lot to the lives of the innocent citizens that are suffering in due to the absence of the peace,” he stressed.
Dr Machar has already been designated the First Vice-President ahead of the inauguration of the new transitional government.
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