August 11, 2014 (WASHINGTON) – US secretary of state John Kerry has strongly condemned the failure of South Sudan’s warring parties to meet a deadline to reach a peaceful settlement to end the eight-month-long conflict.
- US secretary of state John Kerry (Photo: Daniel Getachew/EPA)
On 10 June, president Salva Kiir and his former vice president agreed, in a meeting attended by the IGAD heads of states and governments to complete peace negotiations and to form a transitional government of national unity within 60 days.
However the mediation adjourned the talks indefinitely after the rejection of the SPLM/A in opposition to participate in multi-stakeholder negotiations, demanding direct talks with the government saying the others political and civil society groups should have a consultative role.
The peace process resumed on 4 August and the two sides said the mediation agreed that the two warring parties hold direct talks without the participation of the other stakeholders .
In a statement issued on Monday, Kerry denounced the delay of the parties to meet their commitment, saying neither party engaged in peace talks seriously.
“Along with my troika colleagues from Norway and the United Kingdom, we condemn these failures,” he said. “This is an outrage and an insult to the people of South Sudan. Their leaders are letting them down again and again,” he added.
He further called on IGAD and the African Union to take the “appropriate action” saying the African leaders have previously called for punitive measures if the parties failed to secure peace by the agreed deadline.
We’re well past the point where enough is enough,” he further stressed.
The US top diplomat pointed that the peace process is taking place since six months while civilians continue to suffer from the ongoing fighting in the country.
UN agencies estimate that over 1.5 million people have been displaced and some 400,000 people have fled across borders to neighbouring countries.
On 6 August, the deputy U.N. peacekeeping chief Edmond Mulet told the UN Security Council (UNSC) that “after three years of independence, South Sudan is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe and a protracted internal conflict”.
He further said the humanitarian operation in South Sudan is now constitutes “the biggest aid operation inside any single country”.