Chinese language envoy urges int’l group to push for implementation of South Sudan peace deal

UNITED NATIONS, March 8 (Xinhua) — A Chinese UN envoy has called on the international community to push all parties for further implementation of the South Sudan revitalized peace agreement as it faces many difficulties despite positive changes.

At a Security Council meeting on South Sudan held here on Friday, Wu Haitao, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, said the signatories to the agreement have been making efforts to implement it and that over the past few months, the situation in South Sudan has continued to improve.

Wu said the cease-fire has been maintained in large parts of the country, and that the government has engaged in in-depth and extensive consultations with oppositions for the transitional period and adopted a multitude of measures to increase mutual trust.

David Shearer, the special representative of the secretary-general for South Sudan, outlined to the Security Council several positive changes observed in the country, including that the displaced people and refugees in some parts of the country have begun to return home.

Noting the positive developments, Wu said the implementation of the agreement still faces many difficulties.

He urged the international community, and the Security Council in particular, to continue to help maintain the good momentum in the country and push all parties for further implementation of the agreement.

In this regard, Wu said the South Sudanese parties should bear the primary responsibility for implementing the agreement, and thus the international community should provide necessary funding and technical support and respect the leadership role of South Sudan.

He also said priority should be given to pushing the South Sudanese parties to reach sooner a consensus on key issues such as implementing the political and security arrangements as provided for in the agreement and urging all relevant parties to sign the agreement at an early date.

In addition, Wu called for continued humanitarian assistance and economic support as well as assistance in addressing South Sudan’s food security, with priority on increasing input in agriculture, energy, infrastructure, education, and medical care, with a view to helping the South Sudanese people rebuild their home and resume their capacity of development.

Regarding China’s stance, the envoy said China has always been supporting South Sudan for its peace and development and has sent over 1,000 Chinese peacekeepers, including 25 women peacekeepers, to the UN peacekeeping mission in the country.

In February, China provided South Sudan with 1,000 tons of food assistance and a batch of anti-malarial drugs.

“China will, as always, actively support and constructively participate in the peace process in South Sudan, and make our contribution to South Sudan’s realization of durable peace and sustainable development,” Wu said.

South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, descended into conflict in December 2013 when forces loyal to President Salva Kiir started battling those loyal to Riek Machar, his former vice president.

The South Sudanese government and the oppositions signed a revitalized peace agreement in September 2018, aiming to stipulate a transitional government, with Machar being one of the vice presidents.

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