UN urges S. Sudan warring parties to fulfill peace accord

(NEW YORK/JUBA) - The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday called on South Sudan's warring parties to publicly reaffirm their commitment to fully implement a peace agreement that calls for the formation of a coalition government on November 12.

The Council said full implementation of all provisions of the peace agreement remains the only path that will set the country towards the goal of peace, stability and development.

Concerns from the 15-member Council came in the wake of reports that its members did not observe substantive progress on implementation of key elements of the peace accord, during last month's visit to the South Sudan capital, Juba.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup, allegations he dismissed.

In September last year, the country's rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

According to the 2018 peace deal, a unity government was supposed to be formed in May, but due to unresolved issues, the parties agreed to a six-month extension, settling for November 12.

The Security Council, however said in addition to implementing the peace agreement, the warring parties should fulfill benchmarks in the peace deal, cessation of hostilities and cease-fire agreements.

Last month, Machar told members of the UN Security Council in the capital, Juba that he was unlikely to be part of the transitional unity government, citing failure to resolve outstanding issues like the creation of unified forces, consensus on the number of states and boundaries and establishment of the required protection forces.

The Security Council urged the regional bloc (IGAD) to continue efforts to ensure "the peaceful formation of an inclusive transitional government" in South Sudan.

Pressure is already mounting on the young nation's leaders to ensure the national unity government is formed as agreed upon in May.

The United States already expressed frustration with both Kiir and Machar, threatening sanctions if they fail to form a government on time.

On Monday, a US-based think tank warned that South Sudan could slide back into war if a coalition government is formed on November 12 without reaching compromise on its outstanding issues.

At least 382,900 people died as a result of the conflict in the world's youngest nation, a report published by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine revealed last year.

Source: Sudan Tribune

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