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US concerned over South Sudan peace deal delays

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The US embassy in South Sudan has expressed concern over “continued delays” in the implementation of the September 2018 peace deal.

Since the formation of the presidency in February, there have been delays in the establishment of a national legislative assembly and the continued absence of state and county administrations.

“Five months after the launching of the transitional government, we note continued and persistent delays in the establishment of a transitional national legislative assembly, the continued dispute over the governorship of Upper Nile, and the continued absence of empowered state and county administrations,” the embassy said in a statement today.

The embassy underscored that the people of South Sudan deserve a budget that is transparent and that everybody can comment upon, that reflects the new and deeply altered economic situation.

“Instead, the leadership of South Sudan has merely extended the provisions of a previous budget that has no legislative oversight with no information that people can discuss or see, to say where the money is going. Instead, the people of South Sudan once again must wait in vain for the leadership of the government to do the right thing,” it said.

“They also mean that the ambitious reform agenda established by the parties in the peace agreement is languishing.  We applaud the work being done by many ministries to plan for their role in implementing these reforms; however, we note that time is passing quickly with no movement on a complex array of priorities.  The permanent constitutional process, economic governance reforms, and transitional justice institutions are priorities that cannot wait,” it added.

The embassy noted that there is no doubt that COVID-19 is a very real threat, and has affected the way people do things every day. It, however, urged South Sudan’s leaders to continue doing what needs to be done to govern the country.

“It is a time when some meetings can be done remotely, it is a time when some meetings have to be managed more carefully, but it is not a time or an excuse to stop doing what needs to be done to govern a country.  The meetings of the collective presidency should not be affected by COVID-19, the council of ministers should be meeting now. The business of accountable governance must and should proceed even in these trying times,” the embassy said.

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