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US, UK, Norway Ask Kiir, Machar to Agree

The United States, United Kingdom and Norway have asked South Sudan’s warring parties to compromise on the number of states and beat the deadline for the formation of transitional government of national unity.

The three nations, jointly known as TORIKA, released a statement on Tuesday, a day after President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar failed to reach a common ground at the IGAD Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“With few days remaining until a power-sharing government is due to form, time has almost run out.  We encourage all parties to exercise the spirit of political compromise at the heart of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in these final days,” said Torika.

Adding: “We urge the government of South Sudan and all opposition parties to work together to resolve issues blocking the formation of an inclusive national unity government by the February 22 deadline.”

The three nations, who are the biggest humanitarian donors to the war ravaged nation, said the unity government should be credible and inclusive.

“A credible unity government needs to be inclusive as specified in the R-ARCSS and cannot be formed on the basis of unilateral action.  Specifically, we encourage all sides, including the government, to reach consensus on a way forward on the number of states,” said the statement.

Government through minister of Information, Michael Makuei had threatened to form “unity government” if SPLA-IO rejects the 33 states position of government.

“Refusing to compromise and move forward undermines the agreement, risks the ceasefire, and erodes the trust of the public and the confidence of partners,” added the statement.

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Torika urged all parties to continue to uphold and publicly commit to the permanent ceasefire, to instruct their forces to exercise restraint, and to avoid inflammatory statements.

“It is of fundamental importance to avoid a return to armed conflict with devastating consequences for the people of South Sudan and for the region as a whole.”

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