The peace deal in South Sudan is endangered
The peace deal in South Sudan is endangered following the failure of rebel leader Riek Machar to come to the capital, Juba.
He was supposed to come to the capital city on Monday so as to be sworn in as first vice-president in a new unity government. That has been the main objective laid down in the agreement aimed at putting an end to more than two years of conflict.
Much confusion has been surrounding South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar coming to Juba. Whereas his team previously attributed this delay to logistical and administrative issues asserting said return was scheduled for Wednesday, a statement issued by the government on Tuesday indicated Mr Machar's return was delayed as “he wanted to come with an arsenal of arms... anti-tanks, laser guided missiles and heavy machine guns”.
Chairman of the regional monitors, Botswana's former President Festus Mogae, called on both sides to “ensure that the spirit of reconciliation, compromise and dialogue embodied by the agreement” be preserved.
A view shared by US State Department spokesman John Kirby, who declared : “His failure to go to Juba despite efforts from the international community places the people of South Sudan at risk of further conflict and suffering” adding that “the peace agreement's reform pillars, which are demilitarising South Sudan, injecting transparency of public finances, and pursuing justice and reconciliation, all of which offer South Sudan a chance for renewal”.
The government and the rebels have been slow to sign and implement a peace deal aiming at ending a conflict that broke out over tensions between President Salva Kiir and Mr Machar, who was fired as vice-president in July 2013. The arrival of Riek Machar was expected to constitute a major step on the path toward the end of this civil war.
The latter fled the South Sudanese capital city at the start of the conflict in December 2013, which triggered the displacement of more than two million people and cost tens of thousands of lives.
(With BBC Africa)