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Museveni, regional leaders to discuss South Sudan peace deal

Monday, 10th August 2015

Sudan\r\n president Omar al-Bashir is today expected in the country to join other\r\n regional heads of state in Kampala for discussions on the progress of a\r\n peace deal between the warring parties in the South Sudan conflict.

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President Bashir was invited along with Kenya¡¯s \r\nUhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Mr \r\nDesalegn also chairs the regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on \r\nDevelopment¡¯s (Igad) assembly of heads of state.

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Today¡¯s meeting comes on the heels of the August \r\n17 deadline set by Igad and backed by the international community led by\r\n the United States for president Salva Kiir and his former deputy Dr \r\nRiek Machar to make peace.

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The meeting is a follow-up to last month¡¯s summit \r\nbetween US president Barack Obama and select regional heads of state on \r\nresolving the South Sudan conflict.

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He warned that there is "no time to wait¡± to end \r\nthe conflict and warned of economic sanctions and arms blockades if the \r\ntwo parties cannot reach a deal.

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In a related event, the US assistant Secretary of \r\nState for Africa Affairs, Ms Linda Thomas-Greenfield, was in the country\r\n last Saturday and held a closed-door meeting with President Museveni.

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No word has been said about what the two discussed\r\n but insiders indicated it was largely on the way forward in case \r\npresident Kiir and Dr Machar failed to agree.

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Igad mediators have suggested a power sharing deal\r\n between President Kiir and the rebels/SPLM in opposition. The Igad \r\ndeal retains Mr Kiir as head of state and offers the armed opposition \r\nfaction (SPLM-IO) opportunity to select the first vice president.

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The Bashir question
The \r\nminister of state for Foreign Affairs, Mr Okello Oryem, yesterday, said:\r\n "We cannot confirm [whether he will be here] until he arrives.¡± \r\nAccording to Mr Oryem, president Bashir, who is wanted by The \r\nHague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) on two counts of crimes \r\nagainst humanity and genocide of more than 300,000 people in Sudan¡¯s \r\nDarfur region, is crucial to the discussions as deadline nears.

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His last visit to South Africa for the African \r\nUnion summit turned dramatic after a local court issued orders blocking \r\nhis departure to have him arrested although he eventually returned to \r\nKhartoum.

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