UN urges inclusive peace deal to end war in South Sudan

Friday June 29 2018

South Sudan's opposition leader Riek Machar (right), presidents Omar Bashir of Sudan (centre) and Salva Kiir of South Sudan

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar (right), presidents Omar Bashir of Sudan (centre) and Salva Kiir of South Sudan, pose with raised hands for a group picture after the signing of a permanent ceasefire in Khartoum on June 27, 2018. PHOTO | AFP 

By JOSEPH ODUHA
More by this Author

The United Nations has urged all-encompassing peace talks and implementation of the ceasefire agreement in South Sudan.

Ms Bintou Keita, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the UN Security Council on Thursday that only an inclusive revitalised peace deal could end the nearly five-year civil war.

Ms Keita was briefing the Council on ongoing developments to end the conflict including mediation talks led by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) bloc.

On Wednesday, President Salva Kiir and main rebel leader Riek Machar inked an agreement in the Sudanese capital Khartoum and committed to a permanent ceasefire.

Previous ceasefire agreements have been broken, some just hours after they were signed.

“While the outcome of regional and international efforts to deliver a political settlement is yet unclear, I must reiterate that peace will only be sustained if the revitalised agreement is inclusive, fair, addresses the root causes of the conflict and engages all stakeholders, including women and youth,” Ms Keita said.

“Peace in South Sudan will not be achieved or sustained merely on the basis of a bilateral deal between the two rival leaders,” she added.

Sanctions

In May, the Security Council gave the two warring sides a month to reach a peace deal or face sanctions.

South Sudan Ambassador to the UN, Mr Akuei Bona Malual, urged the UN to give “full support” to the Igad peace process.

“This Council must be seen as fully supporting the peace process for South Sudan, not just eager to dole out blame and punishment whenever there is a setback in the process of peace-making,” he said.

The world’s youngest nation plunged into civil war in December 2013 following a power tussle between President Kiir and his then deputy Dr Machar.

Since the start of the conflict, tens of thousands have been killed with nearly two million others becoming refugees in neighbouring countries, according to the UN.

Untold human rights violations have been committed, including rape, abductions and pillaging, the UN adds.

“More than a million children under age five are forecast to be malnourished in 2018. This is a heavy and unfair price being paid by the most vulnerable of society due to no fault of their own,” Ms Keita said.