FROM AGENCIES, AUG/25/2014, SSN;
South Sudan’s warring leaders have signed a fresh ceasefire deal vowing to end more than eight months of conflict, according to mediators who threatened sanctions should the agreement fail once again.
East Africa’s regional IGAD bloc, which mediated the talks between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar, called on the leaders to forge a unity government within 45 days.
In Article (8) of the latest IGAD of August 25, 2014, IGAD leaders “express disappointment that the 60 days in which the Transitional Government of National Unity TGONU was to be formed have passed without the formation of the TGONU; and now call upon the stakeholders to negotiate and complete the agreement within 45 days.”
Article (13) further calls on the parties to fully mandate and empower their representatives to the peace process to ensure that the remaining negotiations can proceed without further delay; and directs the mediation continue in spite of any stakeholder boycotting the negotiations.
Thousands of people have been killed and more than 1.8 million have fled civil war sparked by a power struggle between Kiir and Machar, who met on Monday for the first time in more than two months.
An IGAD communique welcomed the “signature by the warring parties” to the deal, “which obliges the parties to bring the conflict to an end”.
Three previous ceasefire commitments have been broken within hours.
“As a region, we have to show any party which violates agreements that there are consequences to misbehaviour,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said at the summit of east African leaders, the AFP news agency reported.
“We are sending a clear message to the leaders of South Sudan. So delaying in the procedure will not be acceptable – if not the region will take action.”
Kiir and Machar last met in June, when they agreed to form a unity government within 60 days. They missed that deadline amid continuing war. END