The East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, has refused to sign a peace deal that was accepted by rebel leader Riek Machar, as the two came under strong international pressure to end their 20-month military conflict.
It said on Monday in Addis Ababa that the deal was signed by Machar and a representative of IGAD, which has overseen several rounds of talks in Addis Ababa.
Seyoum Mesfin, IGAD’s Chief Mediator for South Sudan peace talks, said both parties have certain reservations about which they have decided to go into their country and consult.
He never mentioned what the reservations were, but insisted that Kiir would return to Addis Ababa within 15 days to finalise the peace agreement.
Mesfin said IGAD had set Monday as a deadline after which the warring parties would face international sanctions if they failed to strike a deal.
He noted that a string of ceasefires has been unable to stop the fighting, which has killed tens of thousands and displaced about 2 million people.
A report said Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan and Sudanese counterparts, Uhuru Kenyatta and Omar al-Bashir, had arrived in Addis Ababa to put pressure on the warring parties.
It said the earlier talks in Addis Ababa had sought a power-sharing agreement and a transitional government.
A power struggle between Kiir and Machar turned violent mid-December 2013, leading to ethnically based massacres and other atrocities.
The EU and U.S. have already imposed sanctions on some South Sudanese military leaders.
Meanwhile, a report from South Sudan said Kiir has sacked five of the 10 state governors, and there were heavy military presence in the streets of Juba.
The report said government did not give a reason for the sackings, but analysts said the governors may have been seen as critical of Kiir’s policies.
It said the Warrap State governor, Nyandeng Malek, had also been accused of cooperating with the rebels.
It added that Joseph Bakosoro, Western Equatoria Governor, was arrested by the army.