President Salva Kiir is willing to hold face-to-face meeting with his opponent Dr Riek Machar as recommended by the IGAD, according to the presidential spokesman.
Ateny Wek Ateny said the meeting is expected to be held late this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The face-to-face meeting is one of the recommendation of the 62nd IGAD Council of Ministers meeting which took place in the Ethiopian capital last week.
In their communiqué, the ministers said the two leaders should meet before the 31st Summit of the Assembly of the African Union to be held on the 1st and 2nd of July in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.
This was addressed to the Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government so that they can push for the meeting.
“The President is ready to meet with Riek Machar. I said time and again that President Salva Kiir is a keen peace maker. When the time comes for him to go anywhere in order for him to bring peace, he will go,” said Mr Ateny.
President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar last meet in July 2016 when the violence erupted at the presidential palace, J1.
Dr. Riek fled the country and he is now under house arrest in South Africa.
The IGAD Council of Ministers’ recommendation comes after calls by the president for him to return to the country.
However, Dr Machar’s spokesman Stephen Kuol rejected the offer of protection on the condition that Dr Machar returns without troops loyal to him.
He told the BBC Focus on Africa that the issue is sufficient security arrangements for everyone to come to Juba.
Recently, IGAD gave parties to the High Level Revitalization Forum a bridging proposal on governance and securitywhich gives the post of the First Vice President to Machar’s group.
But the government said the position should be held by any other person form the SPLM/A-IO and not Dr Machar.
The IGAD Council of Ministers has also decided to make a final decision on the effective participation of Dr. Riek Machar on the ongoing peace process.
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