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South Sudan president, UN-AU-IGAD mission discuss peace implementation

May 10, 2019 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit Friday discussed with a joint UN, African Union and IGAD mission the recent extension of pre-transitional and other arrangements reached by the Sudanese peace partners to ensure peace implementation.

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The head of the UN peacekeeping mission, Jean-Pierre Lacroix speaks to reporters in Juba, August 1, 2017 (UN photo)

A joint UN, African Union and IGAD mission has started a two-day visit to South Sudan to show regional and international support for the peace process after the extension of the pre-transitional period for the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

The joint mission includes Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix; African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui; and IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ismail Wais.

Shortly after their arrival to Juba, the three officials held a meeting with President Kiir who discussed with the visiting delegation the recent arrangements agreed with the peace signatories groups and thanked them for their efforts to support the peace process and expressed hope that it will continue.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Lacroix expressed the United Nations willingness to support the implementation process after the recent extension.

“We want to continue to support what has already been achieved. We believe that every step taken towards full implementation of the peace agreement is beneficial to the people of South Sudan.”

The French diplomat said that there were a number of outstanding issues, including the formation of a unified army and the boundaries and states. But he expressed confidence that needed efforts would be made by the parties during the extended period to resolve these issues.

For his part, Foreign Minister Nhial Deng Nhial said his government was disposed to make the needed efforts to ensure a successful peace implementation. He added that the government would have preferred a 12-month extension to the pre-transitional period because of the challenges posed by the rainy season.

Nhial also, expressed hope that the holdout groups joint the peace agreement during the extended six-month period without elaborating about the IGAD plans in this respect.

Lacroix will visit Bor in South Sudan’s Jonglei region to see first-hand the implementation of the peace agreement before to leave for Rwanda, on Monday.