South Sudan chief negotiator says Kiir- Machar power configuration not feasible

By ST

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JUBA– South Sudan’s chief negotiator Sunday said his government would not accept the formation a cabinet including the former First Vice-President Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir, adding it would reproduce the same crises of 2013 and 2016.

“We have made it very clear that the painful experience of 2013 and 2016 cannot be repeated. Nothing has changed in terms of the relationship between President Salva Kiir and (the former FVP) Riek Machar to convince us that if we repeat that experiment it would not end in the same way,” said Nhial Deng Nhial.

“We are no longer ready to have people being exposed to danger in the streets of our country. We know what two armies have done,” he added during an interview with the state-owned South Sudan TV.

Last February, the IGAD mediators made some proposals to the parties taking part in the process related to the security arrangements and the power-sharing deal. Following what it suspended the process to give them a time for reflection before to agther them again.

The opposition groups say they are upset by the government demand to exclude Machar from the SPLM reunification process, peace revitalization forum, and the national transitional government.

Actually, Juba made it clear since last year that Machar can only run for president at the end constitutional process, insisting that he should remain away from the rest claiming he would obstruct the whole operation.

Nhial who is also a presidential adviser on diplomatic affairs said that opposition has been emboldened by U.S. sanctions and have started making unreasonable demands to derail the process.

“We did not go to Addis Ababa in order to be persuaded that president Salva Kiir steps down and Riek Machar comes in. One of the conditions the opposition has made is that it is either President Salva Kiir accept to work with Riek Machar or both of them go. These are not reasonable demands,” he said.