South Sudan: Kiir and Machar agree to form unity government
- Health & Security
- Riek Machar, Salva Kiir, South Sudan, South Sudan peace deal, transitional government
- Aaron Brooks
South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar have agreed to form a transitional government in February, even if they fail to resolve ongoing political disputes.
After missing two previous deadlines to form a unity government, the leaders insist they will put any remaining political differences aside and commit to the formation of a transitional government in February. The announcement follows three days of talks between Kiir and Machar in the capital, Juba.
Kiir, Machar vow to form unity government
South Sudan was due to form a transitional unity government in May, as part of a peace deal signed between the two parties in September, 2018. The peace deal brought an end to five years of brutal civil conflict but the terms of the deal are yet to be fully implemented.
The formation of a transitional government is a key step in fulfilling the peace agreement but Machar’s rebel group accuse the government of failing to meet a number of smaller terms related to the integration of rebel troops into the national army, funding and several other issues.
Machar’s rebel group has refused to participate in any unity government until the terms are met. However, President Kiir says he and his rival have agreed to form the transitional government in February, ruling out any further delays.
“We said that after 100 days we must form the government of national unity and if arrangements are not complete, we shall form a transitional government of national unity to implement the outstanding issues,” Kiir told reporters after Tuesday’s meeting.
“The cease-fire will continue to hold and no one from us is willing to go back to war.”
Featured image: By USAID Africa Bureau – A young girl hangs the South Sudan flag, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21460264