UN experts say South Sudan divisions widen, new war possible

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U.N. experts are warning that political, military and ethnic divisions in South Sudan are widening, leading to multiple violent incidents between the main signatories to last year’s cease-fire, the possibility of renewed war, and nearly 100,000 people facing “famine-like conditions.” The experts said in an 81-page report circulated that the slow pace of reforms by President Salva Kiir’s government and more than a year of political disputes and disagreements over how to implement the February 2020 cease-fire and a 2018 peace agreement has led to frayed relations between Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar. Discontent within Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and his power base in the Dinka ethnic group over his handling of the transition “has led to calls for new leadership,” the panel of experts said in the report to the U.N. Security Council.… Intense international pressure followed the recent peace deal and coalition government led by Kiir, with Machar as his deputy. But the government has failed to achieve many reforms including completing unification of the army command, graduating a unified force, and reconstituting the Transitional National Legislative Assembly.