Michael Makuei: “Unity Government Will Be Declared On February 21 & Will Take Oath On 22 February”

South Sudan’s long-awaited transitional government of national unity will be formed on February 21, information minister Michael Makuei said this afternoon in Juba.

Today, talks between South Sudan’s rival parties aimed at determining the number and boundaries of states ended in jeopardy after government refused to accept reduction of the states’ number.

The rival parties have been negotiating in the capital Juba in an attempt to resolve the contentious issue of the number of states as part of the peace deal.

South Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza took over mediation efforts in December last year, in the latest bid to push stalled talks between President Salva Kiir and opposition groups.

Mabuza, after facing difficulties to have the parties agree on the number of states, has proposed to refer the matter for arbitration.

Speaking to media in Juba on Thursday, Mabuza said talks hit another deadlock, pointing out that the parties have rejected suggestions to have the matter go for arbitration for 90 days, which would be after the formation of the transitional government.

“We must consult IGAD, we must consult the AU. Fortunately, they have got a summit this weekend, so we are going to table the proposal and beyond that we come back and give them the feedback,” Mabuza said.

Michael Makuei, South Sudan’s Minister of Information, maintained that the number of states and boundaries must be addressed after the formation of the transitional cabinet.

“The opposition in a way or the other they are demanding further extension but we are saying no more extension. The people of South Sudan are fed up of extensions, so we need to establish the transitional government and then continue with the consultation process,” he said.

“The transitional unity government will be declared on February 21 and will take oath on 22 February,” he stressed.
[Sudan Post]