South Sudan’s warring factions early Monday signed another peace deal in the latest effort to end hostilities that have raged for more than a year.
The government and rebels have previously signed at least three peace deals which were broken quickly.
Leaders of the regional bloc overseeing the talks, IGAD, will take severe action against anyone who breaks this latest agreement and report them to the African Union and U.N. Security Council, said mediator Seyoum Mesfin.
Both the African Union and the Security Council have threatened sanctions against those undermining peace in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation and one rich in oil.
Mediators said April, May and June have been set as a pre- transition period, and a transitional government of national unity will start functioning July 9. IGAD mediators said sticking points remain in the peace negotiations, including the allocation of power.
Fighting broke out December 2013 between President Salva Kiir’s troops and those loyal to former vice president Riek Machar. Since then, more than 1.5 million South Sudanese have fled their homes and tens of thousands have sheltered in U.N. bases. Much of the violence has pitted the ethnic Dinkas, who back Kiir, against the ethnic Nuer, who support Machar.