Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) beef up security at Adar oilfield, South Sudan, March 21, 2017.(Xinhua/Gale Julius)
JUBA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has declared unilateral ceasefire across the country after he launched a national dialogue that seeks to unify and stabilize the war-torn East African nation.
The declaration came less than a week after Kiir said it remains difficult to enforce ceasefire due to regular violations by armed groups amid increasing pressure from the international community demanding end to the civil war now approaching its fourth year.
The South Sudanese leader said on Monday the ceasefire seeks to create conducive environment for the just-started national dialogue and also allow safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid.
"I declare unilateral ceasefire effective from today (Monday) and I have instructed the SPLA command to immediately observe this in their defensive positions," Kiir said.
Last month, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), a body tasked with monitoring South Sudan's peace agreement warned that increasing hunger crisis and escalation in violence has undermined all efforts to make peace in the East African nation.
South Sudan has been embroiled in more than three years of conflict that has have taken a devastating toll on the people.