October 28, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudan President Salva Kiir set to visit the neighbouring Sudan next Tuesday will not discuss the issue of the oil producing and contested border town region of Abyei, said presidential aide.

“The agenda of the issues to be discussed has been finalized and unless it is revised before the president travel, I don’t think the issue of Abyei will be a subject of discussion because it is not one of the talking points based on the content of the current agenda,” said the source.

In a briefing to the UN Security Council about the situation in Abyei on Thursday 24 October, Alexander Zuev, Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, said South Sudan was behind the delay in the meeting of Abyei Joint Oversight Committee.

However, he said the South Sudanese government prefers to await the outcome of the expected meeting between the Presidents of South Sudan and Sudan.

But the South Sudanese official who requested anonymity said the content of the talking points during the visit includes a briefing on the progress made in the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement, the position of the government on the IGAD role in the implementation process, the role the member states will play in the revitalization and other complementing initiatives the government has undertaken.

The Juba-backed Dinka Ngok of Abyei refuses to the formation of joint institutions in the disputed area saying they prefer the organisation of a referendum without the participation of the Sudanese nomad of the Messeiriya tribe.

The South Sudanese presidential aide further pointed to the national dialogue, the reunification process of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) factions facilitated by the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as some of these complementing initiatives which the government has undertaken to complement the implementation of the peace agreement.

Juba believes that the IGAD-initiated revitalization process will open the door for the opposition groups to interfere in the ongoing implementation of the peace agreement that President Kiir wants to achieve only with the SPLM-IO faction led by the First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai.

The South Sudanese leader, according to the source, will also use the visit to congratulate the Sudanese president for the lift of U.S. economic sanctions and give assurance of support to jointly work together with Sudan for removal from the list of states sponsor of terrorism.

“The president will go with an open heart for frank bilateral discussions. He will implore his brother President Omer al-Bashir how best they can work together to end the conflict here in this country and also in the Two Areas and Darfur in Sudan," he said.

"The issue of armed opposition using the common border will be discussed as one of the key points. Other issues like the border crossing, joint patrol and enhancing economic cooperation in the oil sector will also be discussed,” he added.

(ST)

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