By:Emmanuel J Akile
The United States has called for the formation of a unity government in South Sudan next month, while the parties continue to negotiate on the pending tasks.
The U.S Assistant Secretary for Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs said there was no need for the parties to delay the formation of the transitional government over political stalemates.
“We want the process to succeed and this is the common theme,” Ambassador Tibor Nagy said in a press briefing on Monday after visiting South Sudan last Friday.
“We want the people of South Sudan to win, they have suffered enough, they have been abused enough. The elites should move to serving their own people, instead of their own selfish interests.”
He says it is time for the leaders to provide services to the people of South Sudan rather than exert a lot of efforts on political consensus, adding that “the international community is sick and tired and fed up with providing the government services that the government of South Sudan should be providing for its own people.”
The senior Trump administration official stated that determining the number and boundaries of states is a political matter that can be resolved collectively during the transitional period.
The determination of the number and boundaries of the states and the unification of the forces are among the tasks expected to be completed within the pre-transitional period.
There are currently 32 States in South Sudan. The SPLM-IO wants it reduced to 10 or 21 States, but the government insists on maintaining or increasing the number.
The parties are left with 24 days to form a government of national unity.
But Machar’s group have conditioned the formation of a coalition government to the resolution of the number of states and the deployment of a UN protection force in the absence of a unified army.
The Joint Defense Board which is in charge of screening, training and unifying the forces is yet to announce the graduation of the batches of the necessary unified force.
The mediators proposed the formation of an arbitration body to legally resolve the contention on the number of states.
Last week, the SPLM-IO issued a statement, calling for an evaluation of the progress made in the implementation of the agreement.
It also called for deployment of a UN protection force in the absence of unified army during the transitional period.
There has not been an official statement from the mediators, IGAD envoys or the parties on the way forward.
In his latest briefing, the U.S Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador Tibor Nagy argues that the decision on the number of states will require political compromises.