South Sudan’s leaders announced Thursday that the country’s post-war transitional government would remain in power two years beyond an agreed deadline, in a move foreign partners warned lacked legitimacy.
Martin Elia Lomuro, the minister of cabinet affairs, said the decision was taken “to address the challenges that impede the implementation of the peace agreement”, following a 2018 deal to end a five-year civil war that left nearly 400,000 people dead.
“Thus a new roadmap has been agreed,” the minister said, speaking in the presence of President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar, who formed a unity government more than two years ago after half a decade of fighting.
South Sudan was meant to conclude a transition period with elections in February 2023, but the government has so far failed to meet key provisions of the agreement, including drafting a constitution.
South Sudan’s peace process has run into multiple delays, with violence breaking out between Kiir and Machar’s forces as recently as this year.