, ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Oct 18 – South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar on Sunday accused the country’s president of ignoring and undermining a peace deal aimed at ending nearly two years of civil war.
Speaking to reporters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Machar said violations of an internationally-brokered August 26 ceasefire had become commonplace.
“Salva Kiir is acting as if there are no agreements,” he said.
“We see more violations every day rather than moving forward toward the implementation of the agreement.”
Earlier this month Kiir ordered the number of regional states be nearly tripled from the current 10 to 28, rendering an agreed power-sharing formula redundant.
International backers of the deal, including Britain, Norway and the United States, said the move “directly contradicts” the government’s commitment to the peace deal, while the European Union called on Juba to “refrain from proceeding” on the reform.
“The creation of 28 states means that he’s oblivious to the peace agreement that was signed,” Machar said.
“We’ll dialogue with them even though we don’t think it’s practical. We’ll give it another go. We want to salvage the peace agreement,” he added.
South Sudan descended into bloodshed in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar, whom he had sacked as his deputy six months previously, of planning a coup.
The violence has left tens of thousands of people dead and the impoverished country – the world’s youngest nation – split along ethnic lines.