Regional block Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) has set a date for a face-to face meeting between South Sudan rival leaders, President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar.
Igad, which brokered the South Sudan peace agreement in September 2018, has proposed August 21 for the two leaders to meet in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The meeting comes after the regional bloc noted that lack of consultations between the two had been hindering the enactment of the peace pact.
“... would like to invite all parties to the agreement to attend the consultation meeting in the presence of the representatives of Igad member states,” reads the statement by Igad.
The duo in May extended the pre-transitional period to November 12 but peace monitors expressed concern over the slow progress for the timely formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).
However, the country’s Information Minister and government spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth, said that President Kiir will not attend the meeting.
Mr Makuei said the meeting does not require Kiir’s attendance and that Juba will send three representatives on his behalf.
He also expressed confidence that the new government will be formed by November 12.
Edmund Yakani, a South Sudanese activist, argued that lack of trust among the leaders could derail the peace implementation process.
“The chance of the trust and confidence deficit among the principals of the parties to the peace agreement returning the country back to war for failure to comply with November 12, 2019 is higher,” said Mr Yakani.
The signatories were supposed to form a transitional government on May 2 but later agreed to postpone it for six months because some of the conditions had not been met.