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U.S advocacy group calls for pressure on S. Sudan leaders

November 16, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – Regional bodies and the international community should exert maximum pressure on South Sudan’s warring parties to ensure they implement the peace agreement, a US-based advocacy group said.

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President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar in Juba, October 20, 2019 (PPU)

In a statement, The Sentry, an investigative arm of Enough Project said there should be a campaign tied to explicit benchmarks that will unleash serious consequences for leaders who obstruct and do not implement the accord.

“The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the broader international community should work with the government of South Sudan and the opposition to establish clear benchmarks focused on implementing the provisions of the deal—provisions that must be met before the formation of the unity government on February 12, 2020,” partly reads the statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

On Thursday last week, President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar agreed at a meeting held in Uganda, to delay key benchmarks in the peace accord by 100 days.

Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni chaired the meeting, also attended by the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Kenya’s Special Envoy to South Sudan, Kalonzo Musyoka.

The delay in forming a transitional national unity government by November 12 came after the main opposition group threatened to opt-out of the deadline, saying the country’s security arrangements are incomplete.

The Sentry observed that the postponement in South Sudan of the formation of a government of national unity for 100 days, along with the lack of implementation of key aspects of the peace accord, demonstrates the inadequacy of current efforts to promote peace in the war-torn nation.

The campaign group, however said, adhoc emergency diplomacy and vague threats of future consequences will not bring about the full implementation of the peace deal.

“To enforce these benchmarks, the international community, led by the United States, should create a three-month intensive campaign to hold political leaders from both sides accountable and to impose serious consequences on spoilers who do not adhere to the benchmarks required to move the peace agreement forward,” further noted the statement.

It called for network sanctions to be imposed, going beyond the individual peace spoilers to include their companies and commercial partners, both local and international.

“These, combined with anti-money laundering measures and visa sanctions, will disrupt the intentions of the peace spoilers and send a strong message that there is a price to pay for impunity,” further stressed The Sentry’s statement.

“IGAD and the Troika therefore need to undertake sustained, intensive diplomacy over these next three months and beyond to help the parties find compromises on critical security and governance challenges,” it added.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations he dismissed.

In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.