South Sudan advised to end reliance on military force

The United States, Britain and Norway jointly on Thursday advised South Sudan leaders to end reliance on military force in order to achieve a durable peace.

“Ending reliance on military force and creating political space for a diverse range of voices from all political parties, civil society, and the media is essential to creating a durable peace and an inclusive government that represents the interests of all parties to the agreement,” the three countries known as the Troika said in a statement.

President Kiir and opposition leaders missed the November 12 deadline, 2019 to form a unity government and agreed to give themselves another 100 days to address the key outstanding issues and then form the government by February 2020.

The outstanding issues include the creation of unified forces, deployment of forces meant to protect top officials, agreeing on the number of states and drawing internal boundaries.

The Troika said with less than six weeks remaining to meet the extended deadline to form a unity government, South Sudan’s leaders have a clear duty to their citizens to deliver.

“We welcome the recent meetings between leaders of key parties and their public commitment to form a government of national unity by the February deadline.  We urge all sides to build on this, to continue dialogue, and to ensure meaningful progress,” the group said.

The three countries called on the government to fund the peace process transparently, and urged all signatories to demonstrate measurable progress on the issues of states and boundaries and on the implementation of pre-transitional security arrangements. 

 The Troika group, which backs peace efforts in South Sudan, emphasized the need for South Sudan leaders’ recommitment to the inclusion of at least 35 percent of women in every level of government as decided by all the parties.

The people of South Sudan deserve a government that respects human rights and leaders who make necessary compromises for the greater good of the country, it said.

The three countries urged the signatories to peace deal to lay the foundations for the next steps of South Sudan’s peace process and political transition.