South Sudan’s peace monitors welcome extension of pre-transitional period

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South sudan's ex-vice president and former rebel leader Riek Machar (L) meets with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir at the presidential office in Juba, on October 19, 2019. - The 2018 peace agreement that has been delayed by disputes sets November 2019 as the deadline to form a power-sharing government in South Sudan. (Photo by Alex McBride / AFP) (Photo by ALEX MCBRIDE/AFP via Getty Images)
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (2nd R) and opposition leader Riek Machar (2nd L) shake hands after talks on proposed unity government with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (R) and President of Sudan’s Transitional Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (not in picture) at State House in Entebbe, on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | MICHAEL O’HAGAN | AFP

South Sudan’s peace monitors on Tuesday welcomed the decision made by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar.

The two are the main principals to the revitalized peace agreement to suspend the formation of a transitional government of national unity by 100 days.

Augostino Njoroge, the interim chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission  (RJEMC), hailed the spirit of the consensus reached by the parties to extend the pre-transitional period by an additional 100 days and urged them to conclude dialogue on contentious issues.

“It is now of the highest priority to complete the critical pending pre-transitional tasks. I hope the government will immediately release the necessary funds so that the stalled implementation can get back on the truck with renewed impetus,” said Njoroge.

Kiir and Machar last week agreed to postpone the formation of a transitional government of national unity by 100 days in a bid to iron out contentious issues like security arrangements, number and boundaries of states alongside constitutional amendment.

On Sunday, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers validated the 100-day extension to allow the parties to use the opportunity to make extra progress on critical targets before forming an inclusive unity government by February 20, 2020.

In May, the warring parties failed to form the transitional unity government and agreed to a six-month extension before the formation of the much-awaited transitional unity government on Nov. 12.

South Sudan has been suffering from a civil war since December 2013 that has left tens of thousands of civilians dead and an estimated 4 million others displaced.

A peace deal signed in 2015 collapsed after the outbreak of renewed violence in July 2016, forcing Machar to flee the capital.

Under the 2018 peace deal, Machar will take up one of the four vice presidency positions in the transitional government.

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