South Sudan peace implementation at risk

Warring parties' lack of political will to implement deal in letter and spirit is serious obstacle, says monitoring official

South Sudan peace implementation at risk

World Bulletin / News Desk

Clashes between government troops and rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, as well as a lack of political will by South Sudan’s warring parties, despite the cessation of hostilities agreement, are putting the implementation of peace at risk, the group monitoring the country’s peace deal said Friday.

“Clear lack of political will by the warring parties to implement the peace deal in letter and spirit is a serious obstacle,” Festus Mogae, chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), which observes the enactment of the pact signed last August, said Friday at the official opening of the National Constitution Amendment Committee in the capital Juba.

Mogae has accused leaders in the small Horn of Africa country of paying little attention to the suffering of the people.

“The implementation of the peace agreement has been severely compromised by recent events of fighting,” he said.

But he added that he firmly believes that there is no alternative for peace in South Sudan apart from implementing the 2015 accord.

He said amending the constitution to accommodate all the societal grievances is a critical mechanism in implementation of the agreement.

Separately, the UN’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide expressed concern at continuing violence in parts of South Sudan’s oil-rich Upper Nile and Equatoria region, including Kajo-Keji, “where civilians have fled in fear of violence” and access by a peacekeeping mission has reportedly been restricted.

President Salva Kiir “has made a commitment to end the violence and bring about peace, yet we still see ongoing clashes, and the risk that mass atrocities will be committed remains ever-present,” adviser Adama Dieng said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

Thousands of people have been killed and nearly 2.4 million displaced by the conflict that hit the country following disagreements within South Sudan’s governing party between Kiir and his sacked deputy Machar.

The duo reached a power sharing-deal in August 2015, putting Machar back to his old post last April.

Machar returned to Juba that month to resume his role of vice president in the transitional government but was forced out of the city in fighting and later replaced. The UN has said both fighters loyal to Kiir and those aligned with Machar have committed atrocities.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Şubat 2017, 15:31