Elusive peace

 18 Aug 2015 - 1:18

South Sudan has refused to sign a peace deal with rebels, but the world should not grant a delay.

Efforts to bring peace to South Sudan have hit hurdles after South Sudanese President Salva Kiir refused to sign a peace agreement with rebel leader Riek Machar to end a 20-month civil war. The world was hoping that a deal would be in place by yesterday, which was the deadline imposed for the same. The United States and other nations had threatened new sanctions if the warring parties failed to meet a deadline.
Government sources in Juba said differences about the structure of the army, demilitarization and the system of governance in the oil- rich Upper Nile state are blocking a deal. Machar had signed the agreement in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Mediators had then allowed a request by Kiir for 15 more days to go home for consultations and consider his options. South Sudan’s government said last week a breakthrough by the deadline was unlikely because the two sides couldn’t agree on a range of issues, including the division of positions in a power-sharing arrangement.
Any delay in signing the deal will prolong the South Sudan crisis, which has already created a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. The world isn’t paying adequate attention to the crisis in this newest nation of the world because of its lack of strategic importance for them. The warring groups in the country could have been forced into a compromise long ago if enough pressure was put on them. The current efforts are indeed commendable, and are likely to produce results soon in the form of a peace deal, but the government of Kiir is trying for favourable terms. The South Sudanese leader should ink the deal as early as possible, and any deliberate delay from his side should carry a heavy price for him.
Fighting that erupted in December 2013 between government forces and rebels after Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting to topple him has left tens of thousands of people dead. A split last week within the ranks of the main rebel group led by Machar complicates efforts to reach an accord. 
South Sudan has sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil reserves after Nigeria and Angola. Violence has cut crude output by at least a third to about 165,000 barrels per day, the Petroleum Ministry said in May. Kiir and Machar held talks in Addis Ababa with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Umar al- Bashir of Sudan and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Kenyatta urged foreign governments to recognise that South Sudan has shown its commitment to finding a peaceful solution•

South Sudan has refused to sign a peace deal with rebels, but the world should not grant a delay.

Efforts to bring peace to South Sudan have hit hurdles after South Sudanese President Salva Kiir refused to sign a peace agreement with rebel leader Riek Machar to end a 20-month civil war. The world was hoping that a deal would be in place by yesterday, which was the deadline imposed for the same. The United States and other nations had threatened new sanctions if the warring parties failed to meet a deadline.
Government sources in Juba said differences about the structure of the army, demilitarization and the system of governance in the oil- rich Upper Nile state are blocking a deal. Machar had signed the agreement in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Mediators had then allowed a request by Kiir for 15 more days to go home for consultations and consider his options. South Sudan’s government said last week a breakthrough by the deadline was unlikely because the two sides couldn’t agree on a range of issues, including the division of positions in a power-sharing arrangement.
Any delay in signing the deal will prolong the South Sudan crisis, which has already created a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. The world isn’t paying adequate attention to the crisis in this newest nation of the world because of its lack of strategic importance for them. The warring groups in the country could have been forced into a compromise long ago if enough pressure was put on them. The current efforts are indeed commendable, and are likely to produce results soon in the form of a peace deal, but the government of Kiir is trying for favourable terms. The South Sudanese leader should ink the deal as early as possible, and any deliberate delay from his side should carry a heavy price for him.
Fighting that erupted in December 2013 between government forces and rebels after Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting to topple him has left tens of thousands of people dead. A split last week within the ranks of the main rebel group led by Machar complicates efforts to reach an accord. 
South Sudan has sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil reserves after Nigeria and Angola. Violence has cut crude output by at least a third to about 165,000 barrels per day, the Petroleum Ministry said in May. Kiir and Machar held talks in Addis Ababa with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Umar al- Bashir of Sudan and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Kenyatta urged foreign governments to recognise that South Sudan has shown its commitment to finding a peaceful solution•