“Ugandan troops in South Sudan are not preparing to pull out”.
Machar, who was the penultimate speaker at the two-hour meeting, said that he was disappointed Kiir was not in the room and that his absence sent a message against peace to citizens of South Sudan.
“I call on the parties to immediately cease all military operations and form the Transitional Government of National Unity to which they have agreed”.
The goal of the meeting, according to the presidential aide, is to hear from the rival leaders their plans and commitments to implementing the peace agreement which they have signed and what steps they have put in place to address thorny and challenging matters in the implementation process.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged South Sudan yesterday not to “betray and disappoint” the worldwide community after its president promised to implement a faltering peace deal created to end civil war. “Unfortunately, while we are busy implementing the agreement, the armed opposition continues to violate the permanent ceasefire”.
The conflict reopened ethnic fault lines that pitted Kiir’s Dinka against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces.
“The ceasefire is not holding, I agree with President Salva on that”, he said. In a speech by videoconference from the capital, Juba, he blamed Machar’s forces for violations of the cease-fire and said he remains committed to the peace deal despite his “reservations”.
The presence of Ugandan troops in South Sudan is opposed by Machar, who says the foreign soldiers are an obstacle to peace. It shattered the optimism of the worldwide community.
The United States and other Western donors have accused Kiir and Machar of squandering goodwill after South Sudan’s independence and hindering development in an oil-producing nation with nearly no tarmac roads and heavily reliant on aid. It takes two people to fight, to go to war. I hope you will not betray and disappoint us.
The IMF’s South Sudan representative, Philippe Egoume Bossogo, said by e-mail that the lender now has no official position on the matter.
Chad’s Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat praised IGAD for its dogged perseverance in brokering a peace deal for South Sudan.
The United States, Canada, European Union and U.N. Security Council have imposed asset freezes and travel bans on a handful of South Sudanese military leaders who are seen as blocking the path to peace.
Angola’s Minister of External Relations, Georges Rebelo Chicoti, said at the special United Nations meeting that sanctions would “be counterproductive and would risk exacerbating the situation”.