South Sudan warring factions reached a resolution to delay the formation of a government of national unity that was slated for November 12, in order to avoid a reoccurrence of hostilities, after observing that “critical tasks related to security arrangements and governance” were incomplete.
The two leaders, President Salva Kiir and his former vice president Riek Machar whose factions have been at war since December 2013, were on November 12 expected to form a revitalised transitional government of national unity. Now they have 100 days to resolve all pending issues.
The extension is partly a win for Dr Machar who has all along wanted the unity government delayed for at least six months, arguing that the President Kiir-led government had not met the conditions, especially the personal security of Machar.
After the first 50 days of implementing the pre-transition period agreed on in Kampala, the parties will submit a report to the guarantors of the peace—President Museveni and Abdalftah Alburhan A. Alrahman, President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan—and the leaders of the warring factions.
The parties agreed to establish a mechanism from guarantors and the parties to supervise the implementation of the critical tasks.
"During this period, the four Intergovernmental Authority on Development countries represented in the meeting agreed to request Igad to address the status of Machar," said the communique.
The leaders urged the international community to continue supporting the implementation of revitalised agreement on resolution of the conflict in South Sudan.
The warring parties failed to form the transitional unity government in May and both agreed to a six-month extension before the formation of the much-awaited transitional unity government on November 12.
South Sudan has been suffering from a civil war since December 2013, following a conflict between President Kiir and his former vice president Machar, which has left tens of thousands of South Sudanese dead and around four million others displaced.
The 2015 deal
A peace deal signed in 2015 collapsed after the outbreak of renewed violence in July 2016, forcing Machar to flee the capital.
Under the 2018 peace deal, Machar will take up one of the four vice presidency positions in the transitional government.
The communique further says that the leaders urged the international community to continue supporting the implementation of the R-ARCSS and undertook to remain engaged and seized the developments in South Sudan.
During the pre-transitional period, the four Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) countries represented in the meeting—Uganda, Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan — are to request the bloc to resolve Machar status from exile and facilitate his return to Juba.
The Entebbe meeting was also attended by Kalozo Musyoka, Kenya’s special envoy on South Sudan and also a former vice president.
“The meeting noted the incomplete critical tasks related to the security arrangements and governance, including the formation of the revitalised transitional government of national unity,” the communique said.