US expresses concern over South Sudan tensions

Africa

The United States has expressed “concern” over growing tensions in South Sudan.

It cited recent clashes between forces loyal to rival sides in Upper Nile state and an “inflammatory rhetoric” that was “counterproductive” to peace.

In a statement, the US State Department called on President Salva Kiir and first Vice-President Riek Machar to honour their obligations under the peace deal signed in 2018.

It said the clashes and the withdrawal of the opposition from a body overseeing the peace processes was undermining the agreement.

It asked the two leaders “to do their utmost to de-escalate tensions,” noting that they were both responsible for the deteriorating situation.

President Kiir and Machai signed a peace deal in 2018 following five years of civil war.

But its implementation has been hampered by mistrust among the leaders, intercommunal fighting and insecurity.

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