South Sudan clerics call for suspension of unity government formation
November 1st 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan bishops have called on the country’s parties to the revitalized agreement to suspend plans to form the long-awaited unity government as clock ticks toward a November 12th deadline.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit insisted in the past that he will form the government in November as agreed by the parties in May but on Thursday hinted at the postponement of the action telling army generals during the opening session of the 7th army command conference in Bilpam that he is being pressured by unnamed regional and international powers.
If postponed, the government delay will be a huge win for opposition groups such as Dr. Riek Machar’s main armed opposition group SPLM-IO and Dr. Lam Akol’s NDM.
The two important signatories to the agreement have in the past called for the extension of the pre-transitional period for at least six months.
Machar and Lam argued that to ensure a stable government, the country must have a unified army, police, and national security service in place.
All their demands are provided for in the revitalized agreement signed by the government opposition groups in September last year.
“There are outstanding issues that have not been resolved, they must agree and suspend the formation of the government. After the issues are resolved, then they go-ahead to form a government that will bring peace to the country,” Archbishop and Primate Justin Badi Arama said.
Badi said there is already a sign that the country will return to the conflict urging the parties to unite so that the fate of return to war is thwarted and further called on the government to accept the extension of the pre-transitional period.
“This is already a sign of conflict, we don’t want conflict. We want the IO and others to unite through continuous dialogue to reach a consensus for peace. Because if one side says they will, and the other says they will not, it means we the citizens will suffer. This is not what we want,” he said.