UN, African Union Call on South Sudan to Implement Latest Peace Deal

Published October 11th, 2018 - 05:25 GMT
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, shakes the hand of rebel leader Riek Machar in July. (AFP/File)
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, right, shakes the hand of rebel leader Riek Machar in July. (AFP/File)

The United Nations and African Union called on Tuesday South Sudan’s leaders to implement the latest peace deal that was signed in September.

"We are looking forward to further improvement in the security situation and other positive signals that can generate confidence and mobilization from the international community," Jean Pierre Lacroix, the UN Under Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations, told reporters, winding up a three-day visit.

Lacroix visited the country with the African Union Commissioner for Peace, Smail Chergui. He went to UN-run camps for the displaced in Bentiu hosting 114,000 people.

"The partners of South Sudan are keen to see a few things materialize particularly the full cessation of hostilities," Lacroix said.

"Parties themselves (need to) take the lead in advancing the peace process."

The African Union's Chergui issued a vague warning.

"Let´s just take note today that everybody wants to implement that agreement faithfully and we will hold accountable any one going the other road," he said.

Civil war in the world's youngest country erupted in December 2013 and uprooted 4.2 million people -- roughly a third of the population.

South Sudan's warring sides signed a permanent peace agreement on September 12. A US-funded survey released recently estimated that nearly 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

South Sudan broke away from Sudan in 2011 after a long and bloody independence struggle.

But just two years later, war broke out, triggering a severe humanitarian crisis.

A struggle for power between President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe, and rebel leader and former vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer, meant the conflict quickly took on an ethnic character with civilians subjected to massacres and widespread rape by forces on both sides.

Under the new peace deal, Kiir remains president while Machar wins back his old post of deputy.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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