The UN Security Council has seemingly edited its earlier position on the 12 November deadline, saying it “did not observe substantive progress on implementation of key elements of the peace agreement” during a visit to Juba.
Last month, SPLM-IO Leader Dr. Riek Machar told the visiting members of the UNSC that without the Necessary Unified Forces, the peace agreement would face similar challenges it did in 2016.
In July of that year, his guards and government forces engaged in a dogfight at the presidential palace, forcing the opposition leader to run for his life, and marking the collapse of the 2015 peace accord.
He said there was a need to extend the pre-transitional period to give more time for the security sector reforms to take place.
Kelly Craft, US ambassador to the United Nations, however, said:
“We were disappointed by statements from Dr. Riek Machar that the ceasefire would be in jeopardy if the government is formed by November the 12th.”
The UN Security Council categorically said the new government should be established on 12 November as agreed by the parties in May this year.
In a statement issued on 6 November, UNSC urges the IGAD to continue efforts to ensure “the peaceful formation of an inclusive transitional government” in South Sudan and to resolve the issue of Machar’s status.
Under the agreement, opposition leader Riek Machar is to return to the capital of Juba on Nov. 12 and once again serve as President Salva Kiir’s deputy.
That is part of a power-sharing deal aimed at pulling the country out of a five-year civil war that has killed almost 400,000 people.
President Salva Kiir has been saying that he will set up a coalition government with or without Dr Machar.
The two principals are expected to hold another face-to-face meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the peace monitoring and evaluation body says forming the unity government next week without the resolution of all the outstanding issues, may negatively affect the peace deal.
Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission believes the complete implementation of the pending task is critical to the stability of a coalition government.
The body submitted its quarterly report to the regional body, IGAD on Monday.
“Ultimately, the Parties to the Agreement will need to collectively decide on the best course of action in order to consolidate the gains already made and to set the country on an irreversible path to sustainable peace,” it says in the report.
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