Kiir, Machar equally ‘bear responsibility’ for escalating tensions, says US
“All sides bear responsibility for the deteriorating situation. Neither President Kiir nor First Vice President Machar have made good faith efforts to implement the provisions of the revitalized peace agreement, and both have resisted serious attempts to move South Sudan towards the peace, security, and prosperity the South Sudanese people continue to desire.”
The United States government has said that it is concerned by the deteriorating situation in South Sudan where security forces were deployed on Monday night around residence of First Vice President Machar saying both President Salva Kiir and Machar are responsible for deteriorating situation in the country.
Fears of return to conflict rocked the country this week after the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by Machar withdrew from security implementation mechanism following attacks on the group’s positions in Unity and Upper Nile state by Kiir’s SSPDF.
In a statement, the United States department of state says it is concerned by the tensions and urged the parties to the revitalized peace agreement to recommit to the implementation process of the 2018 peace agreement and said that ‘inflammatory rhetoric should cease immediately.
“The United States notes with concern the growing tensions in South Sudan, including recent clashes between the South Sudan People’s Defense Force’s (SSPDF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement-In Opposition (SPLA/M-IO) in Upper Nile state,” the United States government said.
“We call for both sides to observe fully their obligations under the existing peace agreement and note that inflammatory rhetoric is counterproductive and should cease immediately,” the statement added.
The statement said withdrawal of the SPLM-IO from peace monitoring mechanisms “undermines the peace agreement and must be immediately reversed as ceasefire monitoring bodies investigate the recent violence and seek to hold perpetrators responsible.”
The agreement urged Kiir and Machar to de-escalate tensions and uphold their responsibility to implement the agreement, draft the constitution as well as key provisions of the agreement in order to prepare for the long-awaited elections at the end of the transitional period.
“The United States calls on President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar to do their utmost to de-escalate tensions and to uphold their respective obligations under the 2018 peace agreement, including its ceasefire provisions,” the US statement said.
“We call on both leaders to resume implementation of key, long-delayed provisions of the revitalized peace agreement, including taking the necessary steps to establish an inclusive process to draft a new constitution, to establish necessary electoral legislation and mechanisms, and to respect the freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.
“We urge regional states and institutions, namely the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, that are guarantors of the revitalized peace agreement to take swift action to lower tensions and put the peace process back on track prior to the expiration of the already extended transition period in February 2023.”
The United States further said that all sides of South Sudan’s peace implementation are responsible for the deteriorating situation in the country and both Kiir and Machar have resisted the implementation of important provisions of the revitalized peace agreement.
“All sides bear responsibility for the deteriorating situation. Neither President Kiir nor First Vice President Machar have made good faith efforts to implement the provisions of the revitalized peace agreement, and both have resisted serious attempts to move South Sudan towards the peace, security, and prosperity the South Sudanese people continue to desire,” the statement said.
“Furthermore, numerous other political leaders also fail to carry out their official responsibilities and many engage in political violence and otherwise violate the letter and spirit of the peace agreement. We call on all members of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity to take the actions necessary to be seen as credible in the eyes of the South Sudanese people, starting with full adherence to and implementation of the 2018 peace agreement,” the statement added.