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South Sudan's warring parties agree to six month peace deal extension

South Sudan will have to wait another six months for a government [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 May, 2019

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South Sudan will have to wait another six months for a new government.

Sudan's warring parties on Friday agreed a six month extension to a truce, which has helped cease a bloody conflict between the two sides.

The delay towards pursuing the next step in the peace deal came after the main opposition threatened to walk away.

Closed-door talks have been held in neighboring Ethiopia, but the extension needs approval next week by a council of regional foreign ministers from Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya and Uganda. AP said that it expects the foreign minister to approve the delay.

"If they agree and can plan to timely implement outstanding critical issues, namely on borders and credible security arrangements, and work on creating a free political space and free and fair elections on time, including reconciliation and transitional justice, a delay is better than a rush into an unprepared, non-consensual government," German Ambassador Jan Hendrik van Thiel told the news agency.

A deadline was set for 12 May for opposition leader Riek Machar to return to the country and become President Salva Kiir's deputy in a power-sharing arrangement, once again, although is supporters say security arrangements are insufficient.

"The Parties identified lack of political will, financing and time constraints as the major challenges that have delayed implementation of the Pre-Transitional tasks," IGAD said in a statement.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional bloc for East Africa, also confirmed that the deadline for the new government had been extended.

"The Parties identified lack of political will, financing and time constraints as the major challenges that have delayed implementation of the Pre-Transitional tasks," IGAD said in a statement.
South Sudan's five-year civil war that killed nearly 400,000 and displaced millions. 

Key elements to a peace deal have yet to be implemented, including security for the capital, drawing South Sudan's internal boundaries, and creating a unified national army.

Some are not confident that last year's deal with be implemented.

"Even if you give Salva Kiir and Riek Machar 1,000 years they will never implement any peace deal together. The duo should never work together. The (East African bloc) should try another formula," said Jacob Chol, senior political analyst and professor at the University of Juba.

While the truce largely stopped fighting, violence has continued in some regions with rebel groups who did not sign up to it.

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