IGAD extends deadline for forming S. Sudan govt: Juba

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development has extended to August 28 its deadline for forming a South Sudanese unity government, a government envoy said Wednesday

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development has extended to August 28 its deadline for forming a South Sudanese unity government, a government envoy said Wednesday

ADDIS ABABA – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has extended to August 28 its deadline for forming a South Sudanese unity government, a government envoy said Wednesday.

"We have been informed [by IGAD] that it [the deadline] has been extended up to August 28," government delegation spokesman Michael Makuei told Anadolu Agency.

South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused his sacked vice-president, Riek Machar, of plotting to overthrow his regime.

Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in subsequent fighting, while large swathes of the population continue to face an increasingly dire humanitarian crisis.

In recent months, the rival camps have held on-again, off-again peace negotiations – mediated by the Djibouti-based IGAD – in Addis Ababa.

In June, both sides agreed to form a transitional government within 60 days – i.e., before August 10 – but failed to abide by the deadline.

Makuei, for his part, denied reports that a U.N. Security Council delegation had threatened the warring rivals with sanctions for failing to hammer out a peace deal.

"Security Council ambassadors came to Juba with a fact-finding mission," he said. "They did not come with a predetermined decision."

Media reports said Tuesday that the U.N. delegation had threatened both sides with sanctions.

"They [U.N. delegates] came to get informed about what has been going on in South Sudan," Makuei asserted. "They will probably be here in Addis tomorrow."

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