South Sudan Rebels Want UN, African Union to Enforce Peace

  • Machar says President Kiir still violating August peace deal
  • New states will inflame tribal tensions, insurgent leader says

South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar said he’s relying on the United Nations and African Union to enforce a peace deal he signed with President Salva Kiir, after accusing the leader of breaking the pact.

Interventions by the UN, AU and Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an East African bloc that helped mediate the August pact, could restore peace in the world’s newest country, Machar told reporters Tuesday in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Kiir’s plan to carve the nation into 28 states, from the current 10, risks fanning tribal tensions and would undermine a federal system wanted by the rebels, according to the former vice president. Both parties regularly blame one another for outbreaks of violence.

“I have thrown it back to those that drafted the agreement,” Machar said. “I want the peace agreement implemented.” He was speaking after talks with Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni whom he said he’d urged to pressure Kiir to enact the pact.

South Sudan’s war erupted in December 2013 after Kiir accused his former deputy of an attempted coup, a charge Machar denies. The violence has left tens of thousands of people dead and forced more than 2 million others to flee their homes. Oil production has fallen by at least a third to about 160,000 barrels per day.

The UN Security Council should act on a recommendation by a UN panel of experts to enforce an arms embargo against both Machar and Kiir, rights group Amnesty International said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. The UN panel said both sides are continuing to arm their forces, putting civilians at risk and leaving peace out of reach.

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