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Kiir should be prevented from forming gov’t next week – Crisis group

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit as he arrives in Khartoum for signing ceremony of transitional agreement between Sudan’s military and protesters on Saturday, August 17th 2019 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

November 4th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The International Crisis Group has urged regional and international powers to prevent President Salva Kiir Mayardit from forming a unity government next week.

Kiir last week said he will form the Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) on November 12th even if that would mean excluding important signatories to the agreement such as SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar.

Machar had said in October that he will not be a part of the new government Kiir said he will form without him saying the outstanding issues need to be settled first.

These includes the formation of a unified army, police and national security as well as determination of the number and boundaries of the states.

Machar’s position was also echoed by the leader of National Democratic Movement (NDM) Dr. Lam Akol who for his part requested two more months delayment to the formation of the unity government.

Regional heads of state, the African Union and Western diplomats should urge President Kiir to avoid forming a new government without consensus,” the UK-based International Crisis Group said in a report on Monday.

They should step in to help mediate a way forward, given political paralysis among South Sudan’s neighbours, initially envisioned as the deal’s key guarantors.”

The group said the country “is not yet ready for a unity government.”

The security arrangements remain contested, both in Juba and outside. The parties have not agreed upon the number of states, leaving local power-sharing and boundaries disputes in limbo.

Amid these disagreements, the political temperature between the two main camps continues to rise. Despite the years of mediation efforts required to finally reach a sustained ceasefire between the two sides, grave risks to South Sudan’s peace still lie ahead.

High-level political mediation will be required to resolve the outstanding issues standing in the way of forming a viable and functional government while reducing risks to the country’s population.

Simply pressing the parties to form a unity government is a strategy that could backfire if that government’s foundation is so shaky that it cannot stand.”

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