South Sudanese frustrated by elusive peace – UK

The UK government says the people of South Sudan are frustrated with the slow implementation of the country’s peace agreement and the lack of political will from leaders.

President Salva Kiir and his former arch rival, Riek Machar, now first vice-president, formed a unity government two years ago.

But they are yet to create a unified national army of up to 83,000 soldiers, which was a key pillar of the revitalised peace deal signed in 2018 to end five years of the conflict.

The transitional period of the agreement expires in February next year – and it is expected to culminate with a general election.

But it is not clear whether it will happen.

“Political will has proved very elusive so far. We know that the people of South Sudan are frustrated, they are frustrated with the slow implementation and the lack of political will,” said Robert Fairweather, the UK Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.

“Our constant message is that the government needs to show that it remains committed to peace and prosperity for the whole country,” he told reporters in the capital, Juba.

Mr Fairweather has been in the country for five days.

During this trip he met Mr Machar, senior government officials and representatives of civil society.

UK’s ambassador to South Sudan, Jonny Baxter, said the UK government remained concerned that the peace agreement has not been implemented fast enough.

source: bbc

Ray Charles Marfo

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