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Security Council told to support Kiir-Machar talks

Author : | Published: Friday, June 29, 2018

FILE: Bintou Keita, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (left), briefs the Security Council .

The Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations has called on the UN Security Council to support the face-to-face meeting between President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar.

Bintou Keita said the Addis Ababa, Khartoum and Nairobi meetings aimed at addressing the outstanding issues in the IGAD Bridging Proposal are a positive step towards addressing the conflict in South Sudan.

In her address to the Council members yesterday, Ms Keita said the situation in the country is still volatile, and that there is need to reach an inclusive and sustainable agreement.

“The engagement by the regional leaders and the face to face meeting between the President Kiir and Dr. Machar are positive developments which must be supported and capitalized upon,” Keita said.

She was briefing the Security Council on the UN Secretary General’s 90-day report covering the situation in South Sudan from the 17 of February to the 3rd June.

The report outlined several violations of the December 2017 cessation of hostilities agreement in Equatoria, Unity and Upper Nile areas.

Ms Keita however said the face-to-face meeting should not exclude other parties who are instrumental to the realization of a durable peace in South Sudan.

“… peace in South Sudan will not be achieved or merely on the basis of bilateral deals between the two leaders,” She said.

“…peace will only be sustained if the revitalized agreement is inclusive, fair and addressees the root-causes of the conflict, and engages all stakeholder -including women and youth.”

This week, President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar signed a permanent ceasefire, including a number of security arrangements.

On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was encouraged by the Declaration of Agreement signed by the parties in Khartoum.

He said the UN stands ready to support the leadership and people of South Sudan in moving towards a fair, inclusive and implementable agreement.

While on a four-day visit to South Sudan in April, Bintou Keita called on all stakeholders in South Sudan to “engage genuinely and constructively in finding a political solution” to the conflict.

She said “there is no military solution to the conflict,” adding that “peace will not be won in Addis Ababa only,” stressing that it must be won in every state of South Sudan where politically motivated inter-communal violence has caused numerous fatalities in the past month.

Ms. Keita had said the UN is committed to supporting people-to-people peace initiatives, reconciliation efforts and the national dialogue process “provided they are genuinely inclusive, transparent and offer complementary platforms through the efforts of IGAD.”

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