Peace delayed as South Sudan’s warring parties postpone transitional government

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar were posed to establish a transition government for three years

south sudan conflict

Photo: Getty

South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar were posed to establish a transition government for three years beginning today. However, they decided on Thursday to extend the date by three months.

Following multiple failed attempts, a September 2018 peace agreement outlined a  Government of National Unity to commence from May 12, 2019. The key considerations under this agreement were forming regional states, integrating the army, establishing security for political leaders and distributing powers between the President and the Vice President. Elections were supposed to be conducted after a transition period of three years.

However, a six-month extension was agreed upon in May.

Machar has alleged that at the current stage, the two sides have not found ways to integrate the army. However, per Cabinet Minister Martin Elia Lomuro, a 3000-member protectionist force with 900 Machar’s members is already in place.

The leaders agreed to supervise implementation of critical tasks and will file a review report after the first 50 days. Meanwhile, Sudan and Uganda have offered to provide security to the leaders.

Repeated delays in government formation impacts South Sudan’s low credibility for international economic support. For a country whose real income has halved since 2013, lack of external support can worsen the famine and starvation conditions and poverty reduction efforts in the long run.

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