Patience running out for parties in South Sudan

“I am very disappointed that the parties in South Sudan have still not been able to establish the Transitional Government of National Unity. Unless rebel leader RiekMachar returns to Juba and establishes the transitional government, the peace agreement from August 2015, with its comprehensive reform process, cannot be implemented. It is unacceptable that the parties still continue to drag out the process,” said State Secretary Tore Hattrem.

Last week the government showed on repeated occasions that they are not looking for peace, but continued conflict. The authorities blocked landing permits for flights that would have brought Riek Machar and his entourage back to Juba so that he could take up his post as first vice-president. This meant that Riek Machar could not return by the 23 April deadline, as agreed to by the parties and the international community. Previously Riek Machar and his closest allies have de-facto stopped attempts to arrange his return to Juba. 

“This leads us to question both sides’ willingness to resolve South Sudan’s problems based on the peace agreement. Despite broad support from neighbouring countries, the Troika (the US, UK and Norway), Ethiopia, African Union, United Nations, European Union and China and peace promoters in South Sudan, powers on both sides of the conflict continue to block real progress in the peace process,” said Hattrem.

“The international community, including Norway through its cooperation in the Troika, has been deeply engaged in the peace process since it started in January 2014. On the basis of these obvious attempt by the parties to undermine this process, it is now time for the international community to demand that the parties themselves demonstrate real willingness and concrete responsibility to implement this peace process so that the deeply suffering population of South Sudan can get the peace they deserve,” said State Secretary Hattrem.