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Think about your people, Guterres tells leaders

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

An aftermath of a violent incident in South Sudan. Full implementation of the peace deal is expected to end suffering | Credit | UN

The UN Secretary-General has warned South Sudanese leaders against missing another deadline to form a government of national unity.

Antonio Guterres says it will be disrespectful and unacceptable to the people of South Sudan if the leaders fail the 22nd February deadline.

“Think about your people, respect your people, you have not the right to continue the confrontation when your people are suffering so much,” Guterres told reporters in Addis Ababa ahead of an African Union summit.

In November last year, the parties to the revitalized peace agreement resolved to form a coalition government next week.

This is after they failed to establish the government in November over their inability to implement the pre-transitional period tasks. These include training, unification and deployment of forces.

They are to also determine the number and boundaries of states –which currently are 32, plus Abyei Administrative Area.

Several meetings between the main principals, President Salva Kiir, and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar have failed to agree on the number of states.

The government has insisted that it will not temper with the number of the states.

For its part, the SPLM-IO promised not to participate in a unity government if their demand of reducing the number of states is not met.

According to the UN boss, this political stance will increase the suffering of the ordinary South Sudanese.

“It is your moral and political responsibility to put an end to this and to find the agreements that are necessary to make South Sudan enter into a normal life,” he reminded the leaders.

He stressed that it is the moral and political responsibility for the leaders to put an end to the disagreements so that South Sudanese can resume their normal lives.

Guterres further warned that the world cannot wait any longer and must do everything to ensure that South Sudanese leaders are effectively committed to a durable peace that lays the foundation for South Sudan’s development.

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