JUBA – South Sudan cabinet on Friday approved a roadmap extending the transitional period of the peace agreement for 24 months – starting from 22 February 2023.
The extension aims to complete the political, security, and electoral reforms needed to move the country forward.
On Thursday, President Salva Kiir and his former arch-rival, Riek Machar first-vice president, and other signatories signed the new roadmap in the capital Juba Thursday.
The current transitional period expires on 22 February 2023 – and it was expected to culminate with a general election, but the leaders have decided to extend the terms of the agreement again.
The unity government in South Sudan was formed in February 2020, but it is yet to create a unified national army of up to 83,000 troops, which was a key pillar of the peace deal.
The extension of the transitional period means South Sudan will not hold long-awaited elections in February next year.
According to the new deal, an election will be held in December 2024.
Speaking told reporters following a regular cabinet meeting in Juba on Friday, information minister and government spokesman, Michael Makuei Lueth, said the cabinet unanimously endorsed the roadmap.
“The council of ministers approved the roadmap as proposed by the parties’ signatories to the agreement and as such the parties’ signatories to the agreement presented the amendment to the cabinet which is required to pass it by two third according to the law,” Makuei told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
Makuei said the extension of the government mandate is the only way for the people of South Sudan to continue to have peace and to move the country toward credible and fair elections.
“When it was tabled before the cabinet, the proposed roadmap plus the approval of the principles of the parties signatories to the agreement and the speech of H.E the President, three of them were adopted and approved by the cabinet as the only way forward for the people of South Sudan to continue in peace so that at the end of the day, we reach credible and fair elections,” he said.
“The cabinet approved the roadmap as signed by the principles and in fact, let me say it was unanimously approved because the parties’ signatories to the agreement are the very one who are forming the cabinet.”