South Sudan's peace monitors see positive progress in peace implementation

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-19 22:41:12|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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JUBA, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan's peace monitors said on Friday there has been a positive reduction of fighting across the country since the warring parties signed a revitalized peace deal on Sept. 12.

Thomson Fontaine, deputy chief of staff of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), said they based their evaluation on the body's monthly report to measure the parties' commitment to the deal in accordance with the implementation matrix.

"In the evaluation, the report notes some progress in implementing certain pre-transitional tasks as well as outstanding or missed tasks," Fontaine told Eye Radio in Juba.

He expressed confidence that despite some key pre-transitional period tasks not being met within the specified time frame, both parties are in good faith and that the parties will work together.

"I must say that we have seen a remarkable decline in the level of hostilities and violence across the country," Fontaine said.

"We will ultimately be in a situation where we see a country that is free of conflict but we are certainly moving in the right direction," Fontaine said.

President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army-in-opposition (SPLA-IO) last month signed the final peace deal mediated by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

South Sudan's conflict erupted in 2013 after forces loyal to Kiir and his former deputy Machar engaged in combat.

A 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.

Millions of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge in neighboring countries as the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players to end it.