US cancels support for South Sudan peace process due to «lack of political will».

Archive – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir – LI XUEREN / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The U.S. Government has decided to rescind its support for the political transition plan in South Sudan due to the inability of the parties to make progress, although it has stated that it will maintain its current humanitarian aid efforts.

South Sudan has a unity government that was launched following the materialization of the 2018 peace agreement. The South Sudanese Presidency announced in January 2020 that the parties to the peace agreement had agreed to extend the transition period once again, this time until 2023, to allow room for the implementation of the pact’s clauses, amid international calls to accelerate the process.

Despite the decrease in violence due to the political conflict, the country has registered an increase in inter-community clashes, mainly motivated by cattle theft and disputes between pastoralists and farmers in the most fertile areas of the country, especially due to the increase in desertification and the displacement of populations.

The ruling party, SPLM, led by Salva Kiir, expects to face the opposition group, SPLM-IO, led by First Vice President Riek Machar, in the elections. However, Machar’s group has reportedly threatened to boycott the elections if the transitional measures provided for in the 2018 peace agreement are not fully implemented.

In this context, and «given the lack of consistent progress by the South Sudanese leadership, the United States is ending its support» for the bodies responsible for overseeing the peace process,» according to a statement issued late Friday by the State Department.

«The United States also regrets the failure of the South Sudanese leadership to implement commitments made to bring peace to South Sudan,» the statement said, accusing all parties of a «lack of political will» to implement necessary reforms.

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