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Why US called back Amb Hushek

Author: Staff Writer | Published: Monday, November 25, 2019

US Ambassador to South Sudan, Thomas Hushek speaks on Eye Radio, February 2019 | Joakino Francis

The White House has called back U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek for consultations related to the recent failure of parties to form a coalition government on 12 November.

Initially, the peace parties were to set up the unity government in May 2019.

However, they pushed it to November to allow for implementation of key security arrangements.

Recently, the main principals – President Salva Kiir and main Opposition Leader Dr. Riek Machar disagreed over the issue, prompting the regional leaders to convene a meeting that saw them agree to extend pre-transitional period by 100 days.

Kiir wanted to form the government with or without Machar, who insisted on full implementation of the security issues as stipulated in the peace deal.

The international community had also strongly advised against exclusion of the SPLM-IO leader or any other signatory to the September 2018 peace accord.

The White House reacted to the new extension, saying it was “gravely disappointed” with South Sudan’s leaders for not meeting the deadline.

It also said questioned the ability of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to lead South Sudan, adding that it would “re-evaluate” its relations with Juba.

“While in Washington, Ambassador Hushek will meet with senior U.S. government officials as part of the re-evaluation of the U.S. relationship with the Government of South Sudan given the latest developments,” partly reads a statement issued by the Department of State on Monday.

“The United States stands with the people of South Sudan in their pursuit of peace and will work in partnership with the region to support efforts to achieve peace and a successful political transition in South Sudan.”

The recent statement by the U.S government is an indication that the Trump administration has lost trust in the ability of Kiir and Machar to work together, according to a South Sudanese political analyst, Dr. James Okuk.

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