Juba/New York, February 19, 2016 (SSNA) — The United Nations (UN) has accused South Sudanese rival leaders Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar of making peace declarations while allowing attacks on civilians to continue.
The allegation came less than two days after a deadly attack inside a UNMISS-run camp in the Upper Nile State’s capital, Malakal.
“It cannot be tolerated that leaders make declarations in Juba, while the hostilities and attacks on the civilian population continue and intensify across the country," UN’s Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, was quoted by the Reuters as saying.
The senior UN official added that government forces “systematically razed villages and that sexual violence and abuse of children’s rights were rampant.”
Government troops have in the past been accused of carrying out mass killings, rape of girls, abductions of young girls and boys and other serious human rights violations in Unity State.
Kiir has in recent days indicated that he is ready to form an interim government after appointing Machar as the first Vice President of South Sudan.
Machar welcomed his appointment. However, he insists that Kiir should follow provisions or rules in the August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), asserting that all arrangements including demilitarization of Juba must first be fulfilled before he can return to Juba.
On Thursday, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) countries said they met in Kenya and discussed what they described as “implementation of all aspects" of the agreement.
“Forming the transitional government requires progress on agreed security arrangements for Juba, the cantonment of SPLA troops at least 25km outside Juba, and the return of SPLM-IO security forces. We urge that these commitments be carried out expeditiously,” JMEC said in a statement.
Kiir and Machar signed an IGAD-Plus brokered peace deal last August, raising hope for the people of the violence-ravaged young nation to return to live in peace. The two leaders also failed to formed a transitional government by the January 22 dateline set by the IGAD-Plus.
Fighting erupted in December 2013 between different units of presidential guards just one day after senior members of the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) party walked out of the National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting, saying the process was “undemocratic.”
The more than two-year old war has killed tens of thousands of people, hundreds of thousands to flee to the neighboring countries, and forced at least 2.3 million South Sudanese to flee their homes.