UN blames Kenya for aiding chaos in South Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan - A report by the United Nations panel of experts could cause divisions among IGAD member states even before the implementation of the South Sudan peace deal.
Despite expectations from the international community to have President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar forming a unity government by November 12th, the two leaders asked for another six-month extension.
Among others, Machar's team accused the government of delaying to release $100 million and subsequent integration of rebels to South Sudan security forces.
But in the report tabled on Monday around UNSC, the experts have accused Kenya and Uganda of directly contributing to the stalemate.
According to the team, Kenya has “not demonstrated sufficient political and diplomatic will to consistently support the peace process."
“The bilateral meetings between the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Kiir in Nairobi on 1 and 2 July 2019 have not led to the sustained presence and pressure necessary to fully implement the pre-transitional provisions of the agreement,” the UN panel states in reference to a peace deal reached in 2018.
In September 2019, Kenya is among those countries that facilitated the return of Machar, who had taken asylum in South Africa.
But the experts insist Nairobi has failed to implement UNSC sanctions imposed on suspected warlords in South Sudan, giving them the freedom to move around with 'impunity'.
For instance, the experts argue, Paul Making, a former army officer, is allowed to free land in Nairobi besides making financial transactions contrary to the ban.
“Malong has been responsible for the SPLA and its allied forces’ perpetration of serious abuses, including attacks on civilians, forced displacement, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, torture, and rape.”
On its part, Uganda has been accused of deploying troops to South Sudan despite restrictions by the United Nations Security Council.
Both Nairobi and Kampala are yet to formally respond to the latest allegations, which could further cause friction among stakeholders.
The only experts predicted a possible long-term delay in the implementation of the deal, accusing both the opposition and the government of remaining non-committal to the deal.
“The signatories have made no significant decisions regarding the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan,” the report added.
On Monday, the United States of America withdrew her ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek, signifying displeasure in the implementation of the deal.
On his Twitter account, Secretary Mike Pompeo said, "Called back our Ambassador to South Sudan for consultations as we re-evaluate our relationship with the Government of South Sudan."
"We will work with the region to support efforts to achieve peace and a successful political transition in South Sudan," he added.
The dramatic withdrawal could subject Africa's youngest nation to a financial crisis given that the US pumps up to $100 million annually to the Juba economy.