South Sudan peace monitor calls for permanent ceasefire

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-25 01:34:42|Editor: yan
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JUBA, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The body monitoring South Sudan's 2015 peace pact on Wednesday called on the country's warring parties to immediately cease hostilities and enforce permanent ceasefire in a bid to end more than three years of violence.

Festus Mogae, Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), told a stakeholder meeting in Juba that despite declaration of unilateral ceasefire by President Salva Kiir early his week, violence continues in many parts of the war-ravaged East African nation.

Mogae commended the Kiir government for announcing the ceasefire and urged the South Sudanese troops to respect it.

He called on other armed groups in the country to follow suit and seek peaceful avenues to settle their grievances in order to stabilize South Sudan.

"JMEC condemns the senseless continuation of violence and the resulting loss of civilian life in South Sudan and I remain deeply concerned by the continuous deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country," Mogae said.

"My message to all of them was that those who are still fighting should stop immediately for the sake of this country and that all serious parties should pursue a political path to return to the Peace Process," he said.

The former Botswana president said figures of displaced people and refugees continue to illustrate the scale of the impact of the ongoing conflict where civilians are routinely and forcefully removed from their villages by the conflict and have their lives uprooted and livelihoods dismantled.

After meeting the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and leaders of Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya early this month, Mogae called on the regional bloc, the Inter Governmental Organization on Development (IGAD) to speak with one voice for the interest of peace in South

"I appealed for us all to adopt one voice in our engagement with the leaders of South Sudan, and stressed the need for the regional leaders to align their messages and actions to prevent the situation in South Sudan from further deterioration," he said.

The JMEC Chairperson further welcomed the commencement of the national dialogue to give peace and dialogue a chance in order to create conducive environment for the full implementation of the 2015 agreement.

"The official launch of the National Dialogue this week is very timely and a welcome development. I am encouraged by the declaration that the National Dialogue will be inclusive, transparent and conducted with integrity," Mogea said.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Monday declared unilateral ceasefire across the country after he launched a national dialogue that seeks to unify and stabilize the East African nation.

But the main rebel group (SPLM-IO) have accused the government of launching fresh attacks in their positions in Eastern and Central Equatorial regions in the past two days in violation of the said ceasefire.

South Sudan has been embroiled in more than three years of conflict that has have taken a devastating toll on the people.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 between the rival leaders under UN pressure led to the establishment of a transitional unity government in April 2016, but was shattered by renewed fighting in July 2016.