South Sudanese President Salva Kiir says he’s been on the case of his rival-turned-deputy Riek Machar to accelerate the implementation of the peace deal so that the country can not slide back to war.
Nearly a year after forming a joint government, parties are yet to constitute local governments, form a joint army and create a transitional parliament.
Kiir said despite the delays and setbacks, a ceasefire created by the IGAD-brokered deal in 2018,is holding, parties are committed and the country will not go back to war.
“There are others who think that we may go back tomorrow to war, something that I always so no,” President Kiir told a delegation of eminent personalities of church leaders from All African Conference of Churches and World Council of Churches on Friday.
“I’m always begging my brother (Machar) so that we conclude the agreement and we move forward for any projects that we want to initiate for our country,” Kiir added.
“I want to assure you that we are not going back to war.”
President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar formed a joint government in February, which has seen the reduction of hostilities between both sides, in which over 400,000 people have perished.
Parties are haggling about the appointment of local government leaders at county level.
Last week, Kiir rejected the main opposition party’s nominees for Upper Nile, Gen. Johnson Olony. Kiir has based his rejection for Olony on grounds that he as an “active soldier who has not fully subjected himself to the political development in Juba, and is not within territories that are controlled by SPLM-IO or by the government.”
United Nations Special Representative, David Shearer said delays in constituting local governments are impeding efforts to resolve communal violence, in which over 1,000 people have been killed and 400 abducted, according to the UN Report.
“A priority is the appointment of officials at the county level to fill the vacuum of power that has existed since the transitional government was formed. Those people are critical to enable problems to be nipped in the bud before they escalate into violence, and are particularly important to cattle migration as we move into the dry season,” Shearer said last week.