Juba, November 4, 2019 (SSNA) — The Republic of South Sudan is heading toward a renewed conflict as November 12 dateline set by the September 2018 peace agreement to form a transitional government approaches, a new report released today by the International Crisis Group (ICG) and obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) finds.
In the report, the Brussels-based independent research institution says that President Salva Kiir’s recent call to form a unity government without the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) Dr. Riek Machar may not help in the peace process, warning that the issue of security arrangements and the number of states could slip the young nation back into war.
“South Sudan is barrelling toward a crisis as it nears a 12 November deadline to form a government. President Salva Kiir is threatening to leave opposition leader and former vice president Riek Machar, who is demanding a delay to the new government, out of a new cabinet. Even if the two leaders agree to share power, disputes over security arrangements and state boundaries would poison the new administration, potentially leading to its collapse,” the report reads in part.
“The September 2018 peace deal signed by Kiir and Machar is at risk, as is the accompanying ceasefire,” ICG warns.
The report also asserts that the current situation resembles that of 2013 and 2016 incidents.
“If amid such tensions, the two sides end up sharing control of the capital, as in 2016, then rising political temperatures along the path to elections scheduled for 2022 could spark new fighting. This scenario also closely resembles the situation in 2013, when the power struggle inside the ruling party led to a firefight between Kiir’s and Machar’s loyalists in an integrated presidential guard unit, the first skirmish of the six-year civil war,” the report explains.
The ICG calls on the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and other peace partners to push all parties to the deal to agree on security arrangements, state boundaries, and unification of forces.
The East African regional bloc, IGAD, has invited all parties to the pact to attend a meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The meeting, aimed to assess the status of the agreement, is scheduled to begin on the 8th of November.
The SPLM-IO has recently accused the government of using 2015-2016 delaying tactics to impede the implementation of the 2018 revitalized agreement.