US, UK and Norway call for S.Sudan peace within a month

The United States, the United Kingdom and Norway called on Friday for rival factions in the South Sudan conflict to reach a final peace agreement in a month and form a transitional government by July.

AFP| Last Updated: Feb 07, 2015, 05:14 AM IST

Washington: The United States, the United Kingdom and Norway called on Friday for rival factions in the South Sudan conflict to reach a final peace agreement in a month and form a transitional government by July.

The three governments meeting this week said in a statement they were "profoundly disappointed" in the two South Sudan camps` "failure to reach a comprehensive peace deal at recent talks."

The two sides, represented by President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, were in negotiations after the country`s civil war has left tens of thousands dead and displaced millions.

UN officials have already condemned the breaking of a seventh ceasefire signed between the parties at the beginning of the week.

"We call on the parties to fully respect the Cessation of Hostilities agreement of January 23, 2014, and avoid all further violence," the statement said.

The statement asked for parties to resume negotiations by February 19, "compromise" to reach a peace agreement by March 5, and establish a transitional government by July 1.

South Sudan, the world`s newest nation, has suffered ethnic violence since December 2013. The country was born in July 2011 after the partition of Sudan under US patronage.

Fighting began in the capital of Juba between armed factions loyal to Kiir and rebels loyal to Machar.

Clashes have since expanded to the rest of the country and they now involve around 20 armed groups.

International sanctions and an embargo of arms to the country to help stop the fighting has been discussed in Washington, Europe and the UN, but action on that regard has yet to be taken.