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US blames Kiir, Machar for delaying peace process

By: Nema Juma/ Opio Jackson

The US government has blamed the main signatories, President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar for the delayed peace agreement implementation forcing the extension of the process.

According to Public Affairs Officer in the US Embassy, Jonathan Cebra, all parties to the agreement, and particularly President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, share responsibility for the failure to form a new transitional government on November 12. 

He said fourteen months since the signing of the peace accord, too little progress has been made to ensure completion of the key tasks assigned to the pre-transition period.

“Indicating a lack of political will by the parties’ leadership who undertook obligations by signing the agreement,” he said.

“These delays have cost the people of South Sudan by delaying the significant reforms outlined in the agreement which are necessary to build a lasting peace,” he added.

He said hundreds of millions has been paid by the United States to the UNMISS peacekeeping mission, adding that to fund the peace agreement’s key monitoring mechanisms, the United States and other international partners have contributed several billions of dollars for humanitarian and development purposes.

He said all these were the responsibility of government – which gives them an interest in the peaceful transition to an elected government that acts responsibly, respects the rights of its citizens, and does not support corruption and conflict.

“We have engaged with all parties, (both signatory and non-signatory), to encourage them to make progress towards these objectives, but remain disappointed by slow progress and the obvious lack of will on the part of the individuals who have been entrusted this important responsibility to their nation,” he stressed.

“The Department of States has called Ambassador Hushek back to reassess our relationship with the existing, unelected government, and to discuss what measures might be employed to discourage obstruction of the peaceful progression to an inclusive transitional government.”

He urged all the parties and individuals in South Sudan to likewise reflect on their failure and on what changes are needed in order to accomplish necessary tasks within the limited time remaining in the one-hundred day extension. 

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