Two years ago South Sudan’s rival political factions signed a peace deal that ushered in a unity government that was supposed to restore peace to the country.
Former rebel leader of South Sudan Riek Machar and three other persons were sworn in as vice presidents.
The formation of a unity government was seen as a major move that could definitively end years of fighting in the country.
Per the deal former Vice-President Machar returned to his former position after he was sacked by President Kiir.
That transitional government was to govern for three years and that mandate expires next year to make way for elections.
The East African body, Igad, has said that the peace deal signed in 2020 is facing challenges, including unresolved issues on the writing of a new constitution and preparations for fresh elections.
“Igad as a region cannot be at peace when South Sudan is shedding blood. I would really like to appeal to the international community to stand with the people of South Sudan in supporting the peace process,” Igad Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais told diplomats in the capital, Juba.
President Salva Kiir has said he won’t contest upcoming election which would be held without conducting a census, something his former rival, Riek Machar, has opposed.
There are also concerns from Mr. Machar about conducting elections without a unified national army being formed, a new constitution written, census conducted and millions of refugees in neighbouring countries allowed to return home to vote.
South Sudan’s Cabinet Affairs Minister Martine Elia Lomuro told DW that challenges with financing and the international arms embargo hampers the effective implementation of the peace deal.
“As we were struggling to stabilize, we had a serious drop in oil prices and then we went into the Panthou conflict…and we decided to close down the oil completely which means whatever we had, we were using it. We did not have any other income. Then of course before we could recover we have the conflict of 2013 which destroyed oil fields,” Lomuro is quoted as saying.
The most recent deal was signed in 2015 but it did not help to end the conflict. South Sudan gained independence in 2011 from north Sudan but fighting broke out two years later.