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South Sudan at risk of return to conflict, UN experts warn

April 27, 2021 (NEW YORK) - The slow pace in South Sudan’s peace deal implementation could plunge the country into conflict, United Nations experts warned on Monday.

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President Kiir shakes hands with his FVP Macahr in a recent meeting at the presidency (SSPPU photo)

The warning is contained in a report submitted to the Security Council.

"Since February 2020, the slow pace of reforms by the Government of South Sudan and its selective implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan has hindered improvements in the protection of civilians and prospects for long-term peace," party notes the report.

According to the experts, differences in the mechanisms used to implement the accord "has widened existing political, military and ethnic divisions in the country,".

Those disputes, the report said, has triggered "multiple" incidents of violence between the two main signatories to the revitalized peace deal signed in 2018.

"Despite the humanitarian needs of 8.5 million people, the Government has imposed bureaucratic barriers to the delivery of humanitarian aid, and the ongoing conflict has prevented its safe delivery," further stated the report.

The experts urged renewed momentum from regional and international partners to de-escalate the growing security and political fractures in South Sudan.

They further called for the arms embargo to be kept in place and for new sanctions against those hindering implementation of the revived 2018 peace deal and obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid.

South Sudan descended into a bloody civil war in December 2013, leaving an estimated 400,000 people dead and millions displaced internally and into neighbouring countries.