By Edris Redi
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 25, April 2016 (IMC) - The United States is disappointed by “the continued failure” of South Sudanese government and its opposition to form Transitional Government of National Unity, Washington said in a press statement.
After protracted negotiation for years, the government in Juba and the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In Opposition (SPLM/IO) agreed to form the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) and implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan. Washington was actively involved in the negotiations spearheaded by the regional bloc Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
“Yesterday, the government denied landing permission to flights for the return of opposition leader Riek Machar. This interference resulted in the failure to meet the deadline in the compromise proposal put forward by the regional and international partners of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission that was agreed to by both sides,” John Kirby Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson of Bureau of Public Affairs said in statement dated April 24. “We have previously condemned obstruction by the IO, including the arbitrary demand by Riek Machar that more forces and heavy weapons than was previously agreed precede his arrival to Juba,” the statement added.
Though Washington laments leaders on both sides the conflict saying they have blocked progress toward peace despite efforts by negotiators, it nonetheless said it will continue its efforts.
“The United States will continue to work with those who are sincerely committed to implementing the Agreement, particularly its provisions for reform of the security sector and public finances and for reconciliation and accountability,” Kirby stated. “The scope of future U.S. engagement in helping South Sudan confront the country's security, economic and development challenges, however, will depend on the parties demonstrating commitment to work together to implement the Agreement”.
Washington says it has been working intensively with its partners, especially Ethiopia, to facilitate Riek Machar’s return to Juba.
“Given the actions by both sides to prevent or delay his return, it is now time for the parties to assume primary responsibility for facilitating the return of Riek Machar to Juba to form the TGNU and to demonstrate that they are genuinely committed to peace,” the US warned.