S SUDAN: Government asks for More Time to Sign Peace Deal

ADDIS ABABA AUGUST 18, 2015 (CISA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has declined to sign a peace deal proposed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) saying he required more time.

According to Seyoum Mesfin, the mediator for IGAD who are leading the talks, President Kiir’s side required two weeks before signing the peace deal that was accepted by the South Sudanese rebels, Reuters reported.

“In the next 15 days, the government will come back to Addis Ababa to finalize the peace agreement,” Seyoum said on August 17.

Previous rounds of negotiations have failed to end fighting that has killed over 10,000 people and displaced more than 2 million according to the UN.

United States has said it deeply regrets South Sudan’s failure to sign the peace proposal and urged it to sign within 15 days adding that it will look at how to raise pressure on those opposing the accord.

“The United States deeply regrets that the government of South Sudan chose not to sign … We call on the government to sign the agreement within the 15-day period it requested for consultations,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

“We are going to work with our regional and international partners on the next steps and on ways to increase pressure, especially against those that are undermining the peace process or opposing this agreement.”

Last month, IGAD set August 17 as the deadline to end the talks and on July 27 US President Barack Obama warned of putting more pressure on the parties if no deal was signed by the set deadline.

According to IGAD, the deal designates a 30-month transition period with Kiir as president, with a first vice president post allocated to the rebels.

Elections would be held two months after the close of the interim period. Both Kiir and Machar would be eligible to run.

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