Disagreements threaten peace in South Sudan within days by deadline



The deadline to form a transitional government in South Sudan is within fifteen days, but the parties to the conflict have not yet reached agreements on points such as the number of states and the formation of the national army, key aspects to end the war which has bled the country since 2013.

The intense meetings since December between the president of the country, Salva Kiir and the opposition leader and former vice president, Riek Machar, have failed to determine even some progress in the matter of the number of states and the future is uncertain for the youngest country in the world.

A CRITICAL STATE AGREEMENT

Government and armed opposition reached a historic peace agreement in September 2018 in Addis Ababa. Then they established a period to define several issues (administrative, military and security among others) and form a unity government in 2019, but when the date arrived, it was agreed to extend the deadline until November.

Again and in the absence of progress, in November both parties decided to extend the term three more months, until February 22, 2020.

USA He called on the parties to accelerate the formation of government on their date without postponements so that they will not be exposed to further sanctions for hindering peace efforts in South Sudan.

The assistant to the US secretary of state For African affairs, Tibor Nagy told reporters in Yuba last month that the people of South Sudan must reap “the fruits of peace.”

“The elite have to serve the interests of their people; the parties must accelerate the formation of government on their specific date; then consider the other political cases,” he said.

THE LITIGATION

The Government insists that the country has 32 states, while the opposition wants a leaner administrative distribution with 10, as stipulated in the peace agreement signed between the two parties in September 2018 to distribute power between these 10 states between the parts.

In October 2015, Kiir divided the states into 32, thus guaranteeing dominance of strategic areas and oil states and would not leave territories that could generate resources from the hydrocarbon exploitation income (each state receives 2% of the monthly oil revenues).

Kiir wants to attend the future elections and fears that, by having resources, the opposition can gain power and influence in the elections to which Machar also wants to be presented.

The lack of funds has also affected the training process for the troops of both parties, who last month were joined in several camps to be trained for subsequent deployment in Yuba and other cities.

AGREE TO FORM GOVERNMENT OR TRAIN GOVERNMENT TO AGREE

The Minister of Information and Government spokesman, Michael Makuei, told Efe in Yuba that the Government would not accept a new extension due to the delay in the application of some points of the agreement.

“We do not agree with the conditions of the armed opposition in exchange for the formation of the new transition government,” he said, stressing that his position is “to announce the Government on February 22 in progress and later consider all pending cases.” .

The president of the NGO Train the Society and representative of civil society organizations in the peace talks, Edmond Yakani, asked the Intergovernmental Authority for Development in East Africa (IGAD), which has supervised this process, to press to Kiir and Machar to form a government on their date.

“It is true that the remaining days will not be enough to resolve the pending disagreements of the peace pact, but we ask for the formation of a government on its date. After the parties discuss the disputes during the transition phase,” he said.

A leader of the armed opposition loyal to Machar, Pout Koang, explained to Efe that not reaching a satisfactory solution in the matter of the number of states and completing the training and deployment of the Unity Army will not participate in the transitional Government.

“We in the armed opposition will not participate in the next Transitional Government if the issue of the number of states and the deployment of joint or UN forces to protect members of the Government in Yuba and other cities is not addressed so that do not repeat acts of violence and armed clashes as in 2016, “he said.

Atem Simon Mabior

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