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JUBA - 9 Jun 2020

US, Britain and Norway urge presidency to select governors

File photo
File photo

The United States, Britain and Norway have called on South Sudan’s presidency to agree on the selection of governors, saying any further delay could undermine the transition process.

On February 21, President Salva Kiir appointed five vice presidents, including opposition leader Riek Machar as part of a power-sharing deal signed in September 2018.

Since the formation of the presidency, there have been disputes over state allocations. The disagreement between parties to the peace agreement has been delaying the establishment of state governments.

“Now is the moment for the President and Vice Presidents, supported by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the guarantors of the peace agreement, to agree on the selection of governors and to move forward to govern together for the benefit of the people of South Sudan,” the three countries known as the Troika said in a statement on Tuesday.

They added that any further delay creates uncertainty that undermines the transition process, slows the fight against COVID-19, and holds back efforts to end the violence that now threatens the hard-won peace.

The group pointed out that the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity in February was a major step forward in South Sudan’s peace process. 

“Since then, a new challenge has emerged, not just for South Sudan, but for all of us. COVID-19 is a truly global challenge that will have far-reaching political and economic impacts.  The Troika will continue to support South Sudan in its response,” the statement reads in part.

 The Troika has expressed concern at “the increased levels of violence across South Sudan.” 

“In Jonglei, the vacuum created by the lack of governance has exacerbated cycles of intercommunal violence,” the Troika said, referring to recent fighting in Pibor and Uror areas.

It added,” In Central Equatoria, the ceasefire signed in January between the government and non-signatory groups has broken down and we have seen heavy fighting between forces in recent weeks, with villages destroyed and their communities displaced.  Shocking reports of sexual violence against women and girls continue. We are concerned with the impact of the fighting on humanitarian access.”

Government troops and NAS rebels have been trading accusations over fresh attacks in several parts of Central Equatoria State.