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South Sudan vice president to brief UN General Assembly

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- South Sudan’s First Vice President Taban Deng Gai is set to brief the UN General Assembly currently underway in New York on peace implementation in his war-torn country, a government spokesman says.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir’s spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Xinhua in an interview Monday that Gai “will attend all the functions and (that) he will deliver a speech in the UN General Assembly on peace implementation.”

Gai replaced former rebel leader Riek Machar as first vice president in the wake of the July clashes between forces loyal to Machar and those led by Kiir.

A peace agreement, which was signed in August 2015 and aimed at ending more than two years of civil war between Kiir and Machar, remains fragile as Machar has fled to Sudan and is once again pitted against Kiir.

The July clashes killed at least 300 people and displaced thousands into neighbouring countries of Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya.

The UN refugee agency earlier this week revealed that the number of South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries had reached the one million mark, which makes South Sudan join Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as countries that have produced more than one million refugees.

The UN General Assembly is expected to discuss on the large movements of refugees and migrants across the world that has put pressure on resources and compromised border security.

“This is the first time the General Assembly has called for a summit at the heads of state and government level on large movements of refugees and migrants and it’s a historic occasion to come up with a blue print for a better international response,” Ateny said.

South Sudan’s civil war broke out in December 2013 after Kiir accused his then sacked deputy Machar of plotting a coup. Machar denied the charges but mobilized a rebel force. Since then tens of thousands have been killed and more than two million uprooted from their homes. 


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