April 22, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir called on the leader of the main opposition group, SPLM-IO that signed the revitalized peace agreement to return to Juba as soon as possible warning that he would not delay the formation of the transitional government.
The accord’s flaws and the lack of international financial support to its implementation delayed the implementation of the pre-transitional period and particularly the reunification of the armies and tribal boundaries.
This situation pushed the SPLM-IO to propose to delay of the formation of the transitional government scheduled for next May pointing that the full implementation of the security arrangements is the only guaranty to avoid the bloody setback of July 2016.
President Salva Kiir in his Easter Massage on Saturday however clearly rejected this option saying that “any delay to the formation of the government would crush the hopes of our people for peace”.
“The whole Agreement hinged on the formation of the unity government and any delays to this would be an act of bad faith in the eyes of our people,” he said, stressing that “The country is ready for a new spirit and the dawn of a new sense of national unity and no better way to express this than to create a government that brings all parties together”.
He added that at the end of the spiritual retreat with Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby he thought that Machar would jump with him in the same plane with him and return to Juba.
“so that we can quickly form a new government and use the papal message to bring peace among our people,” he stressed.
Nonetheless, Kiir admitted that the Agreement has a lot of challenges, but added that with political will they can deal with any challenges arising during its implementation.
The SPLM-IO media official Manawa Peter Gatkuoth earlier this month said they believe that the security arrangements are more important than the formation of the transitional government.
He said they made several concessions to make progress in this respect but they are frustrated by the delay in the implementation of every measure they agree with the government.
He pointed out that the 700-strong presidential protection force, which the parties agreed on last March to deploy in the capital, is not yet established. Also, the parties agreed to ban the presence of armed militias in the capital but obviously there is no sign for its withdrawal from Juba, he added.