Washington: Expressing deep concern over the failure of South Sudan peace talks, the US has asked the country`s warring factions to forge an agreement soon after they missed a deadline to form a unity government.
"This is an outrage and an insult to the people of South Sudan," the US Secretary of State John Kerry said after peace talks failed to meet another deadline.
"Deadlines keep passing and innocent people keep dying. The log-rolling and delay has to end," Kerry said adding that the parties, the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People`s Liberation Movement (SPLM) - in Opposition agreed to take no more than 60 days to form a transitional government of national unity.
Kerry accused both sides of failing to commit to the peace process.
According to him, regional leaders helped broker the agreement, but despite the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation team`s best efforts, neither party engaged in peace talks seriously.
"Along with my Troika colleagues from Norway and the United Kingdom, we condemn these failures," he said.
Kerry said their leaders are letting them down again and again.
"Peace talks have been on-going in Ethiopia for six months, while the people of South Sudan continue to suffer and the war persists," he said.
"Over a million people have been displaced due to the fighting and South Sudan now faces the worst food security crisis in the world with a real risk of famine," he added.
Condemning the recent clashes in Maban County that resulted in the deaths of at least six humanitarian workers, Kerry said he is especially concerned at reports that civilians may have been systematically murdered based on their ethnicity.
"These killings further undermine the enormous humanitarian response needed to support the 3.9 million South Sudanese who are in desperate need of life-saving food assistance and who continue to live in fear of violence," he said.
Regional leaders have previously called for punitive measures if the parties failed to secure peace by the agreed deadline, he said.
"I call on IGAD and the African Union to immediately take appropriate action to bring peace to the people of South Sudan. We`re well past the point where enough is enough," Kerry said.