President Yoweri Museveni is hosting a meeting that seeks to further concretize the ongoing peace talks between the two South Sudanese rival leaders, President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar.
The two leaders whose conflict has seen Africa’s youngest nation descend into civil war for five years arrived in Uganda on Saturday. President Kiir and rebel leader, Dr Riek Machar were both welcomed at State House in Entebbe by President Museveni.
They are here for a one-day summit to continue with the ongoing efforts to end the political strife in South Sudan. The summit in Entebbe is also being attended by the Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir.
On Saturday, President Museveni tweeted that he was “pleased to host my brothers from South Sudan (His Excellency Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Machar) and His Excellency Omar al-Bashir for talks in Entebbe”.
Museveni said this was part of the measures by the region “to search for permanent solutions to the political problems of South Sudan”.
The talks in Kampala come only a week after Kiir and Machar met and discussed in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum and agreed on a permanent cease-fire across South Sudan.
“A permanent ceasefire is hereby declared throughout the Republic of South Sudan and shall enter into force within 72 hours of signing of this declaration,” a document signed by President Kiir and Riek Machar after the Khartoum discussions read in part.
However, details on political transition, power sharing terms and issues to do with reviving the economy which the war has largely affected were not resolved.
On Friday, the peace partners signed an agreement on transitional security arrangements in Khartoum.
It is reported that central in the ongoing talks in Entebbe which by publication time were still underway, is the question of power sharing which remains the most sticky issue for both sides in the conflict.
Sudanese Foreign Affairs Minister, Al-Derdiri Mohammed Ahmed yesterday said the face-to-face talks will enable the two leaders to resolve the outstanding issues of power and responsibility sharing.
“We are going to Kampala because we have a partner to this success who is His Excellency, President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta, the President of Uganda,” Al-Derdiri Mohamed Ahmed is quoted by South Sudan’s Eye Radio as having said.
“He [Museveni] has a great deal to bring the parties together and see that the Khartoum declaration succeeds, and now his brother Omar Bashir is reciprocating the visit insisting that we should involve him once more to a very important and crucial issue of responsibility and power-sharing,” he added.
He said that he was hopeful and very optimistic that the parties would return from Kampala with full agreement on the issue of responsibility sharing.