South Sudan’s minister of information and broadcasting said Wednesday that the much-awaited revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) will be formed by Feb. 22.
Michael Makuei Lueth said after the end of the 100 days of a pre-transitional period agreed last November there would be no more extensions after former warring parties failed twice to meet the agreed deadline.
“There is no (peace) agreement ever implemented fully. Whatever agreement was signed, you continue with the implementation. We are saying no more extension. As for the unified forces, the VIP forces are ready to be graduated and deployed anytime and will protect the VIPs,” Makuei said after a weekly Cabinet meeting.
He said the revitalized peace agreement cannot be held hostage due to pending issues awaiting implementation.
According to Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, deputy chairperson of the National Committee for Information and Public Relations of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO), the remaining outstanding issues cannot stop the formation of the long-awaited unity government this weekend.
“It’s actually about Ruweng. This issue should be put on the table. But it will not stop or prevent the formation of the government,” he said in Juba, referring to one of three administrative areas proposed by President Salva Kiir which is located in the oil-rich northern part of the country.
Opposition leader Riek Machar went to Juba on Monday to discuss pending issues with Kiir, but the two have not met.
South Sudan slid into crisis when Kiir sacked Machar as vice president in December 2013 on suspicion of plotting a coup, followed by a protracted civil war that claimed tens of thousands of lives and forced 4 million people to flee their homes.