May 6, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA/JUBA) – South Sudan government and its opposition faction have both recommitted themselves to facilitate humanitarian access and support all humanitarian assistance, including creating conditions that will enhance urgent supply of aid to all displaced and needy populations in the new nation.
- The leader of South Sudan’s government delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial (L), signs a ceasefire agreement aimed at ending conflict in the country following negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 23 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Birahnu Sebsibe)
Both parties, as part the humanitarian provision in the ceasefire agreement, also agreed to “immediately” recommit to open the humanitarian corridor within South Sudan and its neighbouring countries.
“[The parties agreed] to ensure the humanitarian coordinator is inclusive of the parties and mechanisms are put in place, or otherwise strengthened, to facilitate humanitarian access in all areas”, partly reads a communiqué signed by heads of both delegations and witnessed by the IGAD special envoys.
Aid agencies in the country had earlier voiced concerns over inability to deliver the much-needed humanitarian assistance to those affected by the violence that has displaced nearly a million people.
There have been numerous calls from the international community, the United States and the United Nations for the two warring parties to allow humanitarian access to the conflict affected regions of the country.
The two parties in the conflict, however, agreed to consider a month of tranquility from 7 May to 7 June to preposition humanitarian supplied and enable the people of South Sudan to plant their food crops, care for their livestock and move to areas of safety.
The parties “take all possible measures to respect human right and protect the civilian population from indiscriminate attacks, rape or any other form of abuse”.
JUBA WELCOMES TRUCE
Meanwhile, South Sudan on Tuesday welcomed the one month truce which allows aid agencies to freely access conflict zones.
“We [government] have been looking [forward] to this [truce] for a long time,” Mawien Makol Arik, the foreign affairs spokesperson, told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.
Arik, however, warned the opposition against attacking government forces, saying “we are concerned with the suffering of our people.”
“The government is very excited [that this agreement is signed] and we are looking forward to see another commitment between the two parties which will help the people of South Sudan,” he said.
A rebel official separately confirmed that their forces would respect the agreement.
A cessation of hostilities agreement signed by both parties in January failed to stop the five months conflict that has killed thousands.