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South Sudan regrets monitor’s negative
assessment on peace progress         

By Denis Elamu JUBA, (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said Friday the latest negative assessment on peace deal implementation by the peace monitoring body the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) was misleading international actors.

President Salva Kiir’s spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny told Xinhua that the Thursday statement by the head of JMEC Festus Mogae, describing shocking deterioration in the political and security situation in the country amid increased hostilities, were misleading in the wake of renewed peace deal revival efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in June.

“That statement is misleading international actors, considering they are being said by someone who is in Juba. I don’t agree at all with that, we have seen a lot of progress in peace deal implementation,” Ateny said.

Mogae had earlier expressed shock by the rampant hostilities across the country amid rapid deterioration of the political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in South Sudan.

“Since July 2016, we, as JMEC, have remained profoundly shocked by the rampant hostilities across the country and the rapid deterioration of the political, security, humanitarian and economic situation in South Sudan. As a result, we are now rightly absorbed in a process to restore and revitalize the prominence of the Peace Agreement,” Mogae said.

Ateny also disclosed that the overall security situation in the nation had improved better than previous in the wake of renewed July clash in 2016.

“The overall security situation in South Sudan has improved better than other time, and these are some of the things (JMEC) should have seen other than continue to be negative about South Sudan,” he said.

Ateny said that some armed opposition members were abandoning rebellion and returning to Juba for reintegration and participation in the ongoing national dialogue launched last year by President Kiir.

“National dialogue is on and a number of (opposition) people are coming back to join national dialogue,” Ateny said.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to fighting that pitied 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.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.


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