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EU urges South Sudan parties to implement peace agreement

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October 29, 2019 (JUBA) - The European Union has appealed to the warring parties involved in South Sudan’s civil war to implements the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement as stipulated.

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South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar (L) speaks to reporters after meeting President Salva Kiir in Juba, September 11, 2019 (JUBA)

In a joint statement issued Monday, representations of the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom expressed full support to the peace process needed for sustainable peace in South Sudan.

The EU urged the parties to engage in political dialogue to unlock the stalemate on outstanding issues especially the number of states and their boundaries, with less than to the November 12 deadline.

“We commend the signatories to the R-ARCSS [Revitalized Agreement Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan] for the progress in the maintenance of the ceasefire since September 2018. We note that progress has been made on Transitional Security Arrangements. However, with only two weeks left in the extended Pre-Transitional Period, much remains to be done to fulfill the benchmarks in the R-ARCSS,” partly reads the joint statement.

It added, “We therefore join the UN Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) in urging the signatories to make continued and accelerated efforts in this regard”.

The EU said it fully supports the African Union Peace and Security Council’s communiqué of 15th October in encouraging the government to expeditiously disburse the remaining funds pledged in May 2019 for the implementation of the revitalized peace accord.

“We further call for progress in political dialogue to address the issue of the number of states and their boundaries,” noted the statement.

Meanwhile, the EU advocated for more meetings between South Sudan President Salva Kiir, the armed opposition (SPLM-IO) leader, Riek Machar and the other signatories to resolve outstanding issues.

“We look forward to the Transitional Period which will move the country towards elections and also serve as a time for reform, reconciliation and healing. We look forward to engaging with the R-TGoNU on the implementation of all chapters of the peace agreement,” the EU said, calling for inclusivity in the unity government.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy-turned rebel leader Machar of plotting a coup, allegations he denied.

In May, the two sides agreed to form a unity government in six months and in September said that they will establish a transitional government by November 12 as part of the peace agreement.

(ST)

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