Rebels reject unity government in S Sudan

Rebels in South Sudan reject to form unity government accusing government of undermining peace deal by creating new states

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

South Sudanese SPLA soldiers patrol in Pageri, Eastern Equatoria state

Rebels in South Sudan rejected to form a unity government with President Salva Kiir accusing him of undermining a peace deal signed in August, 2015 by forming new states, as fighting continues.

The warring rivals were expected to form a unity government by January 22, but rebels claimed that Kiir’s creation of more states almost tripling the number of regional states in December undermines a crucial part of an August deal to end two years of civil war.

Rebel spokesman Mabior Garang criticised "anti-peace hardliners within the government” and said that they would agree in accordance with the old system of 10 states and not the current 28.

However, Garang said they are "fully committed to peace and shall not entertain a return to war."

International key donors, from the so called Troika, including United States, Britain, Norway and the European Union announced this week that peace talks were “deadlock”.  

The key donors cut rebel delegates hotel bills in Juba amid frustrations.

In October, Kiir had unveiled his intention to create 18 new regional states but faced criticism by both rebel factions in South Sudan and several countries.

The United States, Britain and Norway have stated that such a move would “directly contradict” the government's commitment to the peace accord.

Street fighting were reported this weekend in the city of Yambio on Thursday, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, aid workers said. Also more fighting was reported in the southwestern Western Equatoria region.

The fighting was between government forces and a militia known as the Arrow Boys who payed allegiance to Machar’s rebels.

The civil war in South Sudan began in December 2013, after Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a failed coup.

Although more than 12,000 UN peacekeepers have been deployed in the country, at least 10,000 people have been killed so far while more than 2.2 million others have been forced to flee their homes.

TRTWorld and agencies