UN calls for comprise in South Sudan to salvage fragile peace deal
The UN Security Council on Sunday called on South Sudan leaders to compromise to rescue a fragile 2018 peace deal from collapse hours after a major opposition group threatened to pull out of the pact.
Riek Machar, leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO), has threatened to pull out of the peace deal if President Salva Kiir goes ahead to form a unity government without resolving outstanding security issues.
Speaking at the conclusion of the day-long visit to the East African nation, Jerry Matthews Matjila, the UN Security Council president and South African ambassador to the UN, called on South Sudan's leaders to embrace dialogue and compromise on their differences.
"Security Council is of the view that nothing is impossible. We hope that all stakeholders will be in that government by Nov. 12. We have painfully so urged all leaders to take care of their own people," Matjila said.
"Our hope is that the leaders will remain engaged. Machar will remain engaged; Salva Kiir will do everything possible to clearly resolve issues. We also hope that South Sudanese will urge their leaders to move on," he stressed.
While in Juba, the 15-member delegation of the Security Council held talks with all signatories to the shaky peace deal and members of the civil society in a bid to push forward implementation of the agreement.
Kelly Craft, U.S. Ambassador to the UN said the Security Council wants South Sudan to have a new government by Nov. 12.
"We were disappointed statements from Riek Machar that the ceasefire will be in jeopardy if the government is formed on Nov. 12. However, statements from other political stakeholders' discussed the potential for former warring parties to come together and form the government by Nov. 12," Craft said.
"We are holding to the deadline of Nov. 12. We expect the government and the opposition unity tighter to be able to put the people first," she added.
The U.S. envoy called on South Sudan's leaders to show the political will to implement the peace deal and return the world's youngest nation to the path of peace and stability.
"It is so imperative that all parties make political compromises to ensure a credible, inclusive government is formed by Nov. 12," Craft said.
South Sudan descended into conflict in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir sacked Machar leading to fighting between soldiers loyal to both leaders. The conflict killed tens of thousands and displaced millions both internally and externally.
A peace deal signed in 2015 collapsed after the outbreak of renewed violence in July 2016 forcing Machar to flee the capital. Under the 2018 peace deal, Machar will take up one of the four vice presidency positions in the transitional government that is expected to be formed by November. (Xinhua)