UN experts say South Sudan peace deal is at risk

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – UN experts are concerned South Sudan’s peace deal is at risk because unity government partners are arguing about security and resources instead of implementing the terms of the 2018 agreement, VOA News reports. A panel of experts on South Sudan reported to the UN Security Council last week that “selective and incomplete implementation” of agreed security arrangements threatened peace and stability in the country.

In particular, the experts’ April 28 report said: “the signatories to the agreement have not met the deadlines for the completion of the transitional security arrangements, including the expeditious cantonment of forces and the formation, training and redeployment of the necessary unified forces.”

According to VOA News, the experts also said former government and opposition military leaders were compelling civilians, including children as young as 12, to be part of their forces. The forced enlistment of children had occurred in Koch, Panyijiar, and Rubkona in the northwest part of the country, the experts reported.

The UN experts were additionally concerned that South Sudanese National Security Service agents retained unchecked powers, which had now extended to silencing political and civic opposition, VOA News reports.

The panel said civilians continued to be arbitrarily arrested and detained by Security Service agents and that it had verified there were up to 40 prisoners at the Riverside jail who had never been charged with a crime, VOA News reported. The panel said President Salva Kiir was doing nothing to prevent such arrests and detentions.

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