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Dr. Riek Machar Teny, calls for extension of the pre-transitional period to six months.

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South Sudan’s First Vice-President designate, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, called on Friday for extension of the pre-transitional period to six months during an interview with Reuters.

Machar, the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), in September last year signed a revitalized version of a 2015 peace agreement to end the ongoing civil war with President Salva Kiir Mayardiit.
A pre-transitional period set forth by the parties according to the agreement will expire exactly 30 days from today or on May 12th 2019.

“Unfortunately, I have to say ‘no’,” Machar said when asked if he thought the national unity government could be ready by May 12.

“A six-month extension was needed to unify and deploy defense forces, demilitarize the capital Juba and other cities, and agree on devolution of power and the release of political prisoners,” he added .

Machar said he discussed the extension with Kiir during a retreat at the Vatican that ended on Thursday with an appeal by the pope to the leaders to respect the armistice and resolve their differences.

“We have refugees who will not return if they don’t feel secure, we have IDPs (internally displaced people) in the capital and in other major cities who will not go back to their homes which they have left five and a half years ago because of security problems,” he said.

“So we need to establish adequate security from the two forces so that our people can have confidence that this agreement will hold. So it is unlikely that we will form the government by the twelfth of May,” he added.

He further said president Salva Kiir Mayardiit “is concerned that the international community will target him for not implementing the agreement but he has to carry his cross on this.”

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