South Sudan’s peace deal is being implemented too slowly, the head of a monitoring group said, two days after the U.S. expressed concern over leaders missing a deadline to form a transitional government and end a two-year civil war.
“Any delay is a disappointment to the international community, region and the people of South Sudan,” Festus Mogae, chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, said Friday in the capital, Juba. He was speaking at a ceremony to mark the beginning of the group’s role in supervising the enacting of an August agreement between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar that stipulates power-sharing and the reintegration of the oil-producing country’s military.
The commission is responsible to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an East African bloc, and backed by the African Union and United Nations. Conflict that erupted in oil-producing South Sudan in December 2013 has left tens of thousands of people dead and forced 2 million others from their homes.
The U.S., U.K. and Norway on Wednesday said South Sudan’s leaders had failed to form the transitional government within the 90-day period outlined in August’s pact, urging them to “recommit” or “the peace process will unravel.” The administration, set to last 30 months, is now due to begin Dec. 15 at the earliest.
Members of South Sudan’s ruling party who the government tried on charges of plotting an alleged coup also returned to Juba on Friday to participate in the peace process. Rebel representatives who were expected in the city didn’t show up, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth told reporters at Juba airport.