UN, AU Urge South Sudan Rivals Not To Delay Forming Unity Government Again

JUBA, S. Sudan There should be no further delay in forming a new unity government in South Sudan, beyond the six-month extension period, the UN, African Union (AU) and east African bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), told parties to the fragile 2018 peace pact.

A joint UN-AU-IGAD delegation led by UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, concluded a two-day visit to the conflict-torn east African country to push for the implementation of the Sept, 2018, peace deal.

The team said, while they remain supportive of the six-month extension, the rival groups in South Sudan should redouble efforts in implementing the pact and avoid further delays.

Lacroix urged the warring factions to use the six-month period to move the pact forward and end the crisis facing the world's youngest nation.

Our purpose is to be supportive, so that the next six-month after this extension of the pre-transitional period will be used to generate substantial advances in the implementation of the peace agreement, in the improvement of the lives of millions and millions of South Sudanese, Lacroix said.

We wanted also to say, quite clearly, that, this extension should be the last one. We are expecting the parties now to do every effort possible, every sacrifice, so that we have the transitional government in place next Nov, said Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security.

Signatories to the 2018 peace agreement on May 3 agreed to extend formation of the transitional government by six months, following delays in the implementation of the pact.

But South Sudan's President, Salva Kiir, last week called for one-year delay instead, arguing that the six months may not be enough to implement outstanding issues such as, security arrangements that continue to threaten the fragile peace deal.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

The UN estimates that about four million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.

A peace deal signed in Aug, 2015, collapsed, following renewed violence in the capital Juba, in July, 2016.

We still urge the political parties, the mechanisms, also to do the rest at their level best to implement this process so that at least the people of South Sudan deserve what they really earned and that is, at least, peace in this country, he added.


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