(JUBA) — South Sudan government again warned that elections would be held this year if no deal is reached with the opposition groups.
The IGAD Council of Minister decided that the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) for peace in South Sudan will resume its meetings on 26 April 2018 for six days.
However, the parties are seemingly not ready to make the needed concessions for an inclusive agreement as they continue to maintain their previous positions on the transitional government and political reforms.
The IGAD mediators are drafting an agreement that the parties have to discuss during the last week of April.
the government information minister Michael Makuei said his government is prepared for the upcoming talks but threatened the opposition groups again that elections would be held even before the implementation of the constitutional reforms or the end of the war in the country.
“We talk of going for elections when we see that the opposition is not serious and they are dragging their feet with a plan that there will be a vacuum that will lead to the illegitimacy of the government,” Makuei said.
The minister recently accused the opposition of seeking to foil the peace process and calling for a regime change pointing that Kiir government has no legitimacy.
South Sudan had to hold general elections in July 2015 but the parliament extended Kiir mandate for three years until July 2018. But, the August 2015 peace agreement provides that general elections had to be held in February 2018.
Already on 30 March 2018, Makuei threatened to hold elections if no deal is concluded with the opposition groups.
At the same time, he said the leader of the SPLM In Opposition Riek Machar cannot return to the country to participate in the elections unless he denounces violence.
First published by Sudan Tribune