South Sudan: Parties sued over unity government delay

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South Sudan’s warring leaders are being sued by a group of more than 300 civil society groups after delaying the formation of a unity government.

The government and rebel leaders agreed to postpone the introduction of a transitional government – a key aspect of a peace deal signed last year – by six months. However, a large group of civil society groups in the country have branded the delay “illegal” and are taking legal action against all parties involved.

Lawsuit over ‘illegal’ unity government delay

Akuoch Ajang Nyanhom, chairman of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance, says South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leaders had no mandate to delay the formation of a unity government. Speaking to reporters in the capital, Juba, on Friday he said the courts are the only institution that can legally determine whether a delay is in the best interests of South Sudan’s struggling peace process.

Nyanhom says the civil society group hopes the court will annul the extension, forcing the government and rebel leaders to implement a unity government.

However, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth insists the government is within its right to make any arrangements it considers necessary to improve the country’s chances of establishing long-term peace.

Rebel groups in South Sudan say the government has failed to implement necessary changes ahead of forming a unity government, including the integration of rebel fighters into the national army. Leuth warns that pressuring the two sides into forming a unity government before such issues are addressed poses a greater risk to the country’s peace process.

Featured image: By Jason Patinkin (VOA) – South Sudan Rebels Return to Juba Amid Fighting, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70077300

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.