South Sudan must establish a transitional government of national unity

The final round of peace negotiations aimed at establishing a transitional government of national unity for South Sudan by 9 July was formally opened in Addis Ababa today. ‘The parties to the conflict must use this round of negotiations to work out the necessary compromises and agree on the establishment of a government of national unity,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

‘I am concerned that President Salva Kiir did not show up for the negotiations in Addis Ababa today, despite his commitment in the previous round of negotiations to do so,’ Foreign Minister Brende said. 

Thousands of people have been killed, millions have been forced to flee their homes, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, and the economy is in rapid decline. 

‘I urge the leaders of South Sudan to have the best interests of the people in mind and to use these negotiations to create peace in South Sudan. The people of South Sudan have suffered enough, and deserve economic and social development rather than more war,’ said Foreign Minister Brende. 

‘The proposed constitutional amendment to extend the mandate of the president and the parliament for two years must not be used as an excuse not to reach a peace agreement at the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, which are being carried out under the auspices of the regional organisation IGAD,’ Mr Brende said.