US warns South Sudan regional plan is last chance for peace

The United States warned on Thursday that a new regional plan to shore up South Sudan’s failing peace agreement was the last chance for Juba’s leaders to end the war, now in its fourth year.
US Deputy Ambassador Michele Sison told the UN Security Council that Washington will reconsider its support for the deal signed two years ago by President Salva Kiir and rival Riek Machar, if the latest effort fails.
The remarks highlighted growing impatience by the US administration with leaders in South Sudan, which won independence from Sudan just six years ago with strong backing from the United States.
“It is high time for action,” Sison told the council.
The plan agreed by the regional IGAD group is “the last chance for salvaging the peace agreement,” she said.
“If South Sudan’s leaders do not participate in this high-level forum in good faith, and stick to its deadlines, the United States will need to review our position and priorities on support for the peace agreement and its implementing bodies.”
The seven-nation IGAD group agreed this month to launch the so-called “revitalization forum” to push for a permanent ceasefire and talks on ending the war, the latest bid by the regional leaders.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador Tekeda Alemu said the region was now speaking with “one voice” on South Sudan and that there was “no viable alternative” to the regional plan to support a settlement.
The United States has repeatedly called for an arms embargo and sanctions on those who are blocking peace efforts in South Sudan.

Check Also

Iran downplays Natanz ‘incident’ – analysis

Iranian media is being forthright about the current incident and downplaying it. A day after …