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KHARTOUM - 13 Mar 2023

Sudanese delegation heads to Juba to push for peace

Sudan’s government on Monday morning dispatched a high-level delegation to South Sudan to push for peace and stability.

The move comes two days after the meeting between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his First Vice President Riek Machar ended with no breakthrough amid a disagreement over Kiir's sacking of the defense minister recently.

Kiir also swapped the defense ministry set for Machar's party to his party and handed Machar the interior ministry, in a move that goes against the terms of the 2018 peace agreement.

The agreement gives parties the power to remove their representatives from the council of ministers and nominate replacements by notifying the president.

State news agency SUNA reported that a delegation led by a member of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council, Lieutenant General Shamseddin al-Kabbashi, left for the capital Juba to address challenges facing the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.

"The member of the Sovereignty Council, Lieutenant General Shamseddin al-Kabbashi, headed this morning to Juba on an official visit to South Sudan. He was accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Yassin Ibrahim Yassin, and the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali al-Sadiq,” SUNA said.

Sudan is the current chair of the East African regional block IGAD and one of the guarantors of the South Sudan peace agreement.

On Friday, credible sources told Radio Tamazuj that a Sudanese delegation plans to visit Juba to meet the peace partners in a bid to break the deadlock over the recent dismissal of the defense minister, discuss delays in the formation of the second command structure, and the deployment of the unified forces.

Implementation of the 2018 peace deal has been slow, and the opposing forces have frequently disagreed over how to share power.

In August last year, the parties to the peace agreement announced the extension of the transitional government's time in office for another two years, meaning elections would be held in December 2024.