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South Sudan Government to Approve Peace Deal Soon

FILE - South Sudan's President Salva Kiir speaks to the media at a press conference in Juba, South Sudan.

South Sudan’s government said it will present to its national legislature on Tuesday the peace agreement signed last month between the government and rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar to end nearly two years of conflict.

Information Minister Michael Makuei said after receiving the document, the legislature will set up committees to study and propose a final resolution on the adoption of the agreement. The rebels have already said they are likely to ratify the agreement Tuesday.

Makuei told VOA Monday any delay on the part of the government in the approval of the agreement should be blamed on Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional group that has been mediating the peace talks.

He said after President Salva Kiir signed the agreement on August 26, IGAD took away the remaining pages of the document without giving the president an opportunity to initial the pages.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday) the government will table the agreement before the national legislature. After tabling it, the national legislature will set up committees to study the agreement and come up with the final resolution on the adoption of the agreement,” he said.

Makuei said the South Sudan government will ratify the agreement in a matter of days, but IGAD should take the blame for any likely delays in the implementation of the document.

“When the president signed the last pages of the agreement they (IGAD) decided to take away the whole agreement without giving the president the opportunity to initial the other pages of the agreement. And they went and put it on their website,” Makuei said.

He said after the government realized President Kiir did not initial all the final pages of the document, it called on IGAD to bring the entire document back for the president’s initial.

He also blamed IGAD for abruptly canceling a three-day workshop on transitional security arrangements in South Sudan that was supposed to have begun this past Saturday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“The government of South Sudan sent in the list of its representatives to IGAD on the second with the understanding that they will send in the ticket. Our delegation was prepared to go on the fourth. To our surprise, on the night of the trip, we received a message from IGAD telling us that due to the delay in the list of participants in the workshop and due to other logistical problems being faced by IGAD, the workshop was being called off,” Makuei said.