South Sudan president: Unity government could be delayed by 1 year
South Sudan President Salva Kiir says the formation of a unity government in the country could be delayed by a year.
A peace deal signed between South Sudan’s rival leaders last year states that a unity government should be established by May 12 but Kiir’s government agreed to delay its formation for six months, following demands from the country’s leading opposition group. However, now the president says it could now be a year before a unity government is established, despite initially resisting the idea of a delay.
Unity government could take another year
The formation of a unity government is a key stipulation in the peace deal signed last year that brought an end to South Sudan’s long-running civil war. However, the nation’s leading rebel group has accused the government of failing to address key issues ahead of creating a unity government and demanded a six-month delay in forming one.
After initially resisting the idea, President Salva Kiir agreed to a six-month delay but now the leader says this could be extended to one year.
The president admits that his government has been unable to disarm rebel fighters and integrate them into the national army, as stipulated in the peace deal. However, Kiir now says the rainy season will make it difficult to achieve this and create a unity government within the timeframe of a six-month delay.
“Instead of six months, let us call for one year, because from May up to November, there will be rain still and you cannot move with a car to any location,” Kiir said in his speech. “We can form the government by April or May.”
Featured image: By Al Jazeera English – Kiir awaits, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17499385