President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir (R) and South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar attend a final power-sharing deal between South Sudanese arch-foes, on August 5, 2018, in Khartoum. The talks come as part of a regional push aimed at achieving peace in South Sudan, which plunged into a devastating conflict just two years after its independence from Sudan. / AFP PHOTO / ASHRAF SHAZLY
Agence France-Presse

The Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Norway said the peace process signed by warring parties in South Sudan was not realistic.

Members of the Troika, in a statement issued by the Office of the Spokesperson of U.S. Department of State, said they supported the engagement of the region in the recent Khartoum-based negotiations on outstanding governance and security issues.

President Salva Kiir, opposition leader Riek Machar, a representative of the former political detainees and representatives for other South Sudan opposition groups signed the agreement, which focused on governance and security between the warring parties at Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

However, the troika said: “Considerable challenges lie ahead and we are concerned that the arrangements agreed to date are not realistic or sustainable.

“Given their past leadership failures, South Sudanese leaders will need to behave differently and demonstrate the commitment to peace and good governance.

“Above all, we support the people of South Sudan’s aspirations to lead lives unburdened by fear and to experience peace, pluralism and prosperity.

“We remain steadfast that the best hope for sustainable peace is a process inclusive of ordinary men and women, civil society, religious leaders, ethnic minorities and other excluded groups.

“We urge mediators to ensure the open and free participation of these groups and other participants in the negotiations, to ensure their interests are fully protected’’.

The group said any peace process should culminate in free, fair and credible elections that allow for a peaceful transition in leadership in the most expeditious and responsible manner.

They said during the next stage of the talks, parties must bring in a wider range of stakeholders and develop clear plans for the transition period, including how resources will be used in a transparent and accountable way for the benefit of all South Sudanese.

“Critical questions remain, such as how security will be provided in Juba during the transition period and how meaningful checks will be placed on executive power.

“We call on the parties to develop clear and realistic governance, security timelines and plans for the transition period.

“On the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, member states and the AU should intensify their involvement in the implementation phase of any agreement,’’ the group said.

The Troika group noted that there had been some reduction in fighting, the most serious confidence-building measure of all, adding, “sustained peace is a necessary condition for the legitimacy of a transitional arrangement’’.

In furtherance of this, they called on regional partners to uphold the UN Security Council arms embargo and on their financial institutions to ensure that the proceeds from corrupt and war-making activities did not flow through their jurisdictions.

“We now expect to see a change in the situation on the ground, beginning with a further significant reduction in violence and all parties taking measures to allow full humanitarian access,’’ they stated.

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