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Why South Sudan’s Salva Kiir Rushed to Meet Museveni in Entebbe

South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Saturday morning flew to Kampala where he met with Ugandan leader, Yoweri Museveni and his Defence Chiefs.

The meeting held at State House Entebbe, was graced by Uganda’s envoy to South Sudan, Brig Ronnie Balya who previously served as Director General, Internal Security Organisation (ISO).

Others included military intelligence chief, Brig Abel Kandiho and ISO boss, Brig Kaka Bagyenda.

The Minister in the Office of the South Sudan President, Hon. Mayiik Ayii Deng, and Director General of external security Thomas Duoth accompanied President Salva Kiir to Entebbe.

According to a State House statement,

Museveni and Kiir held “bilateral discussions on matters pertaining to the two sister countries.”

It further said President Kiir arrived in Uganda today on a 2-day working visit at the invitation of his host. 

“The two leaders’ bilateral discussions also included matters relating to the extension of the road and electricity to South Sudan’s Capital, Juba,” reads the statement.

ChimpReports understands the talks focused on the progress on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

There has been concerns over the slow pace in the implementation of the peace deal especially on the integration of forces and funding for the process.

Kiir has promised to release $100m but only $7m has been rolled out for this cause.

Kiir is expected to meet with dissident former Vice President Riek Machar to discuss implementation of the deal.

There is fear that failure to form a joint government with Machar later this year could ignite a fresh security crisis in the country.

Machar, who recently returned to Khartoum after spending several weeks in talks with regional stakeholders, has since expressed concern over the delay in implementation, lack of funding, deliberate misinterpretation of the provisions of the Agreement and provisions related to the devolution of powers and resources.

The IGAD Council of Ministers in May extended the Pre-Transitional Period by six months to allow the implementation of the pending tasks which include completion of review and amendments of TCRSS 2011 (as amended), relevant security laws, devolution of powers and resources, demilitarization of civilian areas, cantonment, unification, training and re-deployment of forces.

Machar has also asked the government to avail the approved budget for the implementation of the pending Pre-Transitional Period activities as per the Agreement and open up political space in order to, amongst others, facilitate joint peace dissemination, national reconciliation and healing, fundamental freedoms and civil rights.

While Machar is seen as politically weak considering his main supporters – Sudan is yet to fully recover from a political crisis following the downfall of Omar Bashir, regional groups want to see the former Vice President return to  South Sudan to form an inclusive government.

Kiir also remains skeptical about Machar’s intentions due to the latter’s external support.

No need for war

In Entebbe, President Museveni told officials of the two countries at the conclusion of the tete-a-tete discussions with his guest, that the people of South Sudan do not need war but peace and elections in order to stabilize their country.

On his part, President Salva Kiir talked about the situation in his country since 2013.

“Now the guns are almost silent. The forces that are still resistant are not a big threat,” said Kiir.

“I welcome all those that are willing to return home to participate in the transitional government beforethe national elections that are underway for people to take decision on who is to lead them,” he said.

Kiir also briefed President Museveni on the formation of the national army.

The two leaders also discussed the construction of the Yei-Kaya highway.

Yei-Kaya Road is a major trade route, connecting South Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Museveni also introduced President Kiir to members of the East African Business Council (EABC) who had earlier held a meeting with President Museveni whom they briefed on the Council’s plans to build a vibrant private sector ecosystem through increased national, regional and global engagement with the East African Government, people and business community.

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