S.Sudan: Amid delay in forming govt, leader urges peace

JUBA, South Sudan

South Sudan’s president on Friday urged the army and other organized forces to maintain peace and accept his orders not to return South Sudan to war.

Salva Kiir said that he accepted Thursday’s extension for formation of a transitional government of national unity to 100 days because he did not want to give Riek Machar’s opposition SPLM-IO a reason to return the country to war.

He also called on all parties that signed the peace agreement to be patient and accept the decision of the guarantors.

The public should respect and accept the extension wholeheartedly, he added.

“I promised that I will never return South Sudan to war,” he said.

The parties were expected to form a coalition government next week, as agreed this May.

But at a summit in Entebbe, Uganda on Thursday, Kiir and Machar agreed to delay that goal by 100 days past Nov. 12.

Kiir has pledged to fund the implementation of the remaining issues in the agreement

South Sudan slid into crisis when Kiir sacked Machar as vice president in 2013 on suspicion of plotting a coup, followed by a protracted civil war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands and forced 4 million people to flee their homes.

Before a 2018 peace deal, five years of fighting between the two leaders crippled the country, with millions displaced and almost 400,000 people dead from violence and disease.

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