Egypt’s Sisi says Cairo preparing meeting between South Sudan leaders

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 19: Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt, arrives for the Compact with Africa summit at the Chancellery on November 19, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. The summit, hosted by the German government, brings together leaders from 12 African nations and seeks to further the groundwork for increased private investment in those countries. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday that his country has been arranging a meeting that brings together South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar to discuss forming a government of forces affiliated with both sides.

Sisi made the remarks during a session he held with representatives of foreign media working in Egypt on the sidelines of the third edition of the four-day World Youth Forum (WYF) which opened on Friday in Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

“We have always been supportive of all efforts made, and still being made, to find a solution and reach ceasefire,” said the Egyptian president, who is also rotating chair of the African Union, noting that the government should commence and overcome what happened in South Sudan during the past two years.

He stressed that Egyptian policy adopts solving problems and extinguishing crises in Africa, “even if Egypt does not chair the African Union.”

South Sudan descended into conflict in December 2013 after Kiir sacked his deputy Machar, leading to fighting between soldiers loyal to respective leaders.

The conflict killed tens of thousands and displaced millions both internally and externally.

A peace deal signed in 2015 collapsed after the outbreak of renewed violence in July 2016, forcing Machar to flee the capital.

Under the 2018 peace deal, Machar will take up one of the four vice presidency positions in the transitional government.

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