South Sudan: $40m allocated to integrating rebel forces
South Sudan’s government has allocated $40 million in funds to integrate rebel forces into the national army.
The integration of rebel fighters into a unified army is one of the provisions in a peace deal that ended five years of conflict. However, the government has so far failed to fulfil this part of the agreement, which has stalled progress on establishing a transitional unity government.
Government revives peace process efforts
The $40m allocated to integrating rebel fighters into the national army is part of a $100m package made by President Salva Kiir to help find the peace process. The move comes after the president and rebel leader Riek Machar held a rare face-to-face meeting on Friday to discuss progress on the country’s stalled peace deal.
The international community is pushing both parties to commit to the peace agreement following repeated delays in forming a transition government. The power-sharing government was initially set to be established in June but the two sides agreed on a six-month delay in the final days before the deadline.
A new deadline was set for November 12 but, once again, both parties agreed on another delay at the last minute, pushing the date back until February 2020. The $100 million pledge will ease fears that South Sudan’s peace deal is failing, to some extent, but the country’s supporters will need to start seeing the fulfilment of pledges and promises before any kind of trust in it leaders can be established.
Featured image: “South Sudan Forms Transitional Government of National Unity” flickr photo by United Nations Photo https://flickr.com/photos/un_photo/26193049113 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license