South Sudan’s peace talks in Kenya make good progress: special envoy

South Sudan’s peace talks in Kenya make good progress: special envoy

JUBA, July 6, (Xinhua/GNA) — South Sudan’s negotiation team in the ongoing peace talks in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, said Friday that substantial progress had been made towards achieving lasting peace and stability in the world’s youngest nation.

Albino Mathom, the special envoy to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and head of the delegation to the Nairobi peace talks, said they had reached some important milestones with the opposition groups, expressing confidence in reaching a final deal soon. “What we have agreed in Nairobi with the opposition is trust and confidence building measures, that is a protocol by itself, economic recovery and management which means we will have accountability in the economy,” Mathom said at a briefing in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

Mathom said other areas the negotiators had agreed on includes judicial reforms, transitional justice and accountability, permanent ceasefire, security arrangement and reform. “Humanitarian assistance and the rest are pending, and we are still negotiating, we are almost to reach an agreement with the opposition,” Mathom declared.

He said the people of South Sudan have suffered for a long period and as such, President Salva Kiir initiated the Nairobi talks to hasten the search for durable peace and the country’s rebuilding.

Michael Makuei Lueth, the information minister and a member of the negotiation team, said the Nairobi talks, also known as the Tumaini (Hope) Initiative, will boost implementation of the 2018 agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan.

Makuei said negotiators have identified weak institutions and funding shortfalls, as the root cause of slow progress in the implementation of the 2018 peace agreement. He believed the Nairobi talks will strengthen the 2018 agreement by including the holdout groups in the implementation mechanisms, including the Joint Defense Board which will now be renamed the Security Sector Reform Oversight Commission with retired security officers to oversee the implementation.

The minister said the peace negotiators, identified the National Transitional Committee (NTC) as not performing, so they decided to rename it National Implementation and Oversight Mechanism, to oversee the performance of the security and governance sectors.