South Sudan says it supports joint AU-led efforts to settle Sudan's crisis

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-24 23:37:04|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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JUBA, June 24 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Monday welcomed joint efforts by the African Union and Ethiopia aimed at ending the political crisis in its northern neighbor Sudan after the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) rejected an earlier deal offered by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Mawien Makol Ariik, foreign ministry spokesman, told Xinhua that the government supports the AU-led efforts alongside Ethiopia to diffuse tension and help parties reach peaceful settlement on formation of coalition government which in turn benefits South Sudan's stability as Sudan is a key guarantor of the South Sudan peace deal signed in September last year in Ethiopia.

"If there is anything that Sudanese agreed upon, we are there to help them and support them for that. A delegation from Juba is underway to go and see and give support there," he added.

The military council is locked in deadlock with the opposition group, the Freedom and Change Alliance as they seek to agree on the structure of transitional government.

Ahmed's initiative had included formation of a sovereignty council composed of 15 members, including seven military and seven civilian ones in addition to an independent civilian to be appointed via consultation between the TMC and the opposition alliance.

Makol also regretted the suspension of Sudan from the African Union (AU) as it plays a key role in the region.

"Sudan is a custodian of the peace in South Sudan. This is the biggest responsibility for Sudan to make sure that they have to be in a position of strength for them to play their normal role that they play in the region including supporting peace in South Sudan," said Makol.

"We are telling Sudan to quickly put their house in order for them to regain their seat in the AU, this is because a vital member like Sudan is also responsible for other countries," revealed Makol.

He noted Sudan's role is vital in South Sudan's peace process as the latter has leverage over some of the parties to the peace deal signed in September 2018, in the Ethiopian capital after former President Omar al-Bashir mediated the peace deal under auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).