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U.S. recalls South Sudan ambassador over lack of unity government

The United States on Monday recalled its ambassador to South Sudan after the country failed to form a unity government on time.

President Salva Kiir and his political rival Riek Machar were to form a unity government as agreed in a peace deal by November 12.

But both parties failed to meet this deadline delaying the unity government for 100 days beyond the Nov. 12 deadline.

Uganda’s presidency said such a move was aimed at buying time due to concerns that war could resume if the two sides were pushed.

The new administration was expected to be in place by mid-November, with hopes it would end the current political crisis.

In a statement State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Ambassador Thomas Hushek will return to Washington to “meet with senior U.S. government officials as part of the re-evaluation of the U.S. relationship with the Government of South Sudan given the latest developments.”

South Sudan crisis

A breakdown in relations between President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Machar sparked a civil war, killing hundreds of people and displaced millions.

The new deal is to provide for five vice presidents for South Sudan and protect a power sharing arrangement.

Per the deal former Vice-President Machar is expected to return to his former position. The transitional government would govern for three years.

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.

The key issues for negotiators has been guaranteeing the safety of Machar and his troops and how to de-militarise Juba.

Reducing the number of regional states in South Sudan to an agreeable number also remains a thorn in the flesh for negotiators.


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