JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
Three Western countries on Friday condemned
continuing violence in South Sudan and urged the government to
end offensives against opposition forces near the Ethiopian
In a joint statement
issued in Juba, Norway, Britain and the United States which are
members of the Troika (peace deal guarantors) condemned the
current offensive against SPLM-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) forces
near Pagak, as well as ongoing road ambushes and attacks by the
The countries backed
regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
which had urged President Salva Kiir to ensure that his forces
respect the unilateral ceasefire, for the armed opposition
groups to reciprocate the ceasefire, and for all groups to allow
the unfettered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those
“We also welcome
IGAD’s announcement of a high-level revitalization forum for the
South Sudan peace process,” the countries said of the forum
which will be held in Juba on Monday.
The conflict has
killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that
have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.
The Western nations
called into question the government’s commitment to reach peace
through the National Dialogue, albeit the sincere efforts
undertaken by the leaders of the Steering Committee.
“The Troika and EU
agree with IGAD that the Forum should focus on achieving a
ceasefire and resuming political dialogue that focuses on
updating the agreement’s timelines and other provisions that are
now obsolete in light of the expansion of conflict since 2015,”
of violence, displacement, and food insecurity renders any
discussion of elections in the foreseeable future as an
unnecessary diversion from the primary goals of achieving peace
and reconciliation,” Troika said.
They called on South
Sudan’s leaders, neighbors, and regional and international
partners to first focus on achieving peace in order to create
the conditions needed to hold credible elections.
“To achieve these
urgent goals, we look forward to the prompt revitalization of an
inclusive and credible peace process by IGAD; such progress
would be required in order for the Troika and EU to commit
further resources to institutions designed to implement the
agreement,” the countries said.
descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute
between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to
fighting that pitted mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir
against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace
agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016
when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing
Machar to flee into exile.
South Sudan needs to return to
peace, says UN official
UNITED NATIONS New
York (Xinhua) -- A senior UN official said Thursday that
challenges must be overcome to put South Sundan back on track
“The peace process
faces numerous challenges that must be overcome if we are to
make the most of the opportunity created by the deployment of
the regional protection force and put the country back on the
track for peace and stability,” El Ghassim Wane, assistant
secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, said when
briefing the Security Council on South Sudan Thursday morning.
He warned that “the
security environment remains extremely volatile” and stressed
that South Sudan “needs an effective and credible ceasefire.”
Wane added that
every effort should be made to ensure that “the National
Dialogue is inclusive, transparent, takes place in a free and
secure environment and is supported by a broad political
He also underlined
the need for the international community to send strong messages
to the South Sudanese leadership of all sides that “the status
quo is unacceptable and unsustainable.”
“A change in
behavior is long overdue,” he said, adding that the pursuit of
political objectives through violence should not be allowed to
On Wednesday, a
delegation from the UN Mission in South Sudan and government
officials visited Kolmerek village in the Jonglei region. They
condemned a violent attack that happened there last weekend and
called for calm.
The UN mission is
supporting peace efforts and has sent peacekeepers to the area.