The peace deal between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and troops fighting for his former deputy Riek Machar that both sides ratified in September 2015 is at a “critical stage”, the United Nations warned in December. A transitional government is due to take over in January 2016. Fighting has continued in the north-east of South Sudan, and the rebels have not yet returned to the capital. The deadline to form a transitional government passed on 26 November with no significant movement. The head of the UN peacekeeping operations Hervé Ladsous said 1,100 additional peacekeepers were needed to help monitor the accord. He said the implementation of the peace agreement was progressing slowly and with “serious difficulties”. Repeated violations of the ceasefire by the two warring parties has resulted into continued civilian casualties, displacement and an increase in humanitarian needs.