Netherlands pledge to support South Sudan's peace process

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-23 00:04:43|Editor: yan
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JUBA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Netherlands said Thursday its committed to supporting efforts for lasting peace in South Sudan and would support implementation of the recently signed peace deal.

Janet Alberda, Netherlands ambassador to South Sudan, said the new peace deal offers hope and opportunities for South Sudan to rebuild itself after suffering five years of devastating civil war.

Alberda urged the parties to the pact to exert maximum political will and ensure that the peace process is successful and inclusive for all.

During a ceremony in Juba, the Netherlands government unveiled a contribution of 9 million U. S. dollars to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to improve roads in the conflict-torn country.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 and the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 4 million others both internally and externally.

Several warring factions signed a new peace deal in September and the pact appear to be holding as fighting has subsided across the country.

But many western countries, who initially backed South Sudan after its independence from Sudan in 2011 have so far shown little interest in supporting the new peace deal after a similar one collapsed in July 2016.

Adnan Khan, WFP Country Director in South Sudan said the funds would improve smallholder farmers' access to markets by rehabilitating and maintaining roads in South Sudan over the next four years.

Khan added that the new peace agreement has improved the conditions for aid delivery in South Sudan and urged the parties to the conflict to work extra hard to lift restrictions on movement of humanitarian actors.

"Improved access for farmers to markets is essential to increase agricultural production, generate economic growth in rural areas and reduce hunger and poverty," he said.

"For two years in a row, South Sudan has been declared one of the most dangerous country for humanitarians. It is our desire that South Sudan gets off that list if there is political will present from all sides," he added.