South Sudan: Parties agree 6-month delay on unity government
South Sudan’s ruling party and leading opposition group have agreed to delay the formation of a unity government by six months.
The delay will give the rival sides time to address issues still unresolved since the signing of a peace deal in September last year that brought an end to the country’s long-running civil war. The delay was announced on Friday by regional integration group IGAD.
Rivals agree unity government delay
South Sudan’s leading opposition group has been demanding a six-month delay on forming a unity government with President Salva Kiir’s ruling party, prompting fears the country’s fragile peace process could once again fall apart.
Kiir had called upon opposition leader Riek Machar to return to Juba immediately and participate in the formation of a transitional government but the president’s oldest rival refused, citing security concerns and a number of aspects from last year’s peace deal that haven’t yet been implemented.
Among the issues still unresolved is the integration of opposition soldiers into the national army.
News that Kiir and Machar’s parties have agreed to a six-month delay will ease fears over a return to full-blown conflict in South Sudan although it remains a setback for the struggling peace process.
On Friday, President Salva Kiir also announced the end of a state of emergency in five northern states, which was implemented in 2017.
Featured image: By Al Jazeera English – Kiir awaits, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17499385