Kiir, Gatwech to name delegates ahead of talks in Khartoum
JUBA – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit and breakaway SPLM-IO chief of staff Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual will next week send negotiation teams to the Sudanese capital Khartoum where peace talks between Kiir’s government and the SPLM-IO faction are expected to take place in two weeks’ time, officials loyal to both men have said.
Speaking to Sudans Post in Khartoum on Sunday, Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng, the SPLA-IO spokesman allied to Gen. Gatwech said the former SPLA-IO chief of staff has been asked by the Sudanese government to prepare a delegation which will negotiate on behalf of the Kitgwang faction when talks are started within two weeks.
“Yesterday, the Chairman and Commander in Chief General Simon Gatwech Dual and the deputy Chairman General Johnson Olony Thabo met with the delegation of the government of Salva Kiir Mayardit. The start was good and they also showed a spirit of peace that they will negotiate in good faith,” Gatjiath said.
“After the meeting, we have been asked by the Sudanese government to prepare mediation teams. The government of Salva Kiir will prepare its team and we will prepare our team and these two teams will meet here in Khartoum when the date is fixed so that they can work out on how to solve the problems in the peace agreement,” he added.
The senior opposition commander however said they haven’t yet received the official date when peace talks are expected to start between the two teams, but hinted at the beginning of talks within two weeks’ time from the date the two parties submit their teams to the Sudanese mediation.
“First of all we haven’t been informed of when the talks will begin, but probably it will only be two weeks, from the date that the government and the SPLM-IO submit the names of their delegates to the government of the Republic of Sudan,” he added.
Separately, Kiir’s security advisor confirmed the receipt of the Sudanese request for negotiation teams and said his government’s team is ready and that they will only be waiting for Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual’s team for the talks to begin.
“We are ready and we are waiting for their team to arrive,” he said on Sunday.