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Cleric urges Kiir, Riek to ‘stay in touch’ regularly

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

ECSS Archbishop Justin Arama takes a picture with President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar at the Vatican, Rome in April 2019. PHOTO: Courtesy

The Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan is urging President Salva Kiir and Vice President-designate Dr. Riek Machar to keep close contact while the agreement is being implemented.

Justin Arama said it is important that the two main principles to the revitalized agreement speak to each other on regular basis so as to sustain the current momentum.

Delegates from the parties signatory to the R-ARCSS are currently in Juba implementing the provisions of the pre-transitional period, before a government of national unity is formed in November this year.

Leaders of the Opposition Alliance, Former Detainees are all in Juba –with the exception of Dr. Riek Machar who is in Khartoum.

Kiir and Machar last met in April in Rome at the Vatican where Pope Francis had invited them for a spiritual retreat.

President Kiir in May issued several public invitations for Dr. Machar to return to Juba to help him with the formation of the reconstituted transitional government.

But Machar declined saying he will return after the provisions of the security arrangements have been implemented.

These arrangements include; the cantonment, training, unification and deployment of forces across the country.

Archbishop Arama who was speaking on the national television, SSBC said continuous public engagement between the two leaders will provide the stability needed to implement the agreement in latter and spirit.

“We also want to see him [Kiir] with his brother Dr. Riek Machar interacting and talking to each other –so that it gives us encouragement,” he said.

The Archbishop was at the state house in Juba on Monday for a meeting with President Kiir.

Similar calls were made in April by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in South Sudan, who called on two leaders to earnestly supervise the implementation of the pre-transitional issues within the extended six months period.

David Shearer said one of the best ways to timely address issues that may arise during the implementation period is to engage the President and his First Vice President-designate in follow-up meetings.

He said such meetings will help in reviewing “progress made, build trust and confidence and extend a signal to South Sudanese that the agreement is on track.”

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