President Kiir Seeks Support For S. Sudan Peace Deal, Highlights Refugee Concern
South Sudan President Salva Kiir called for support from lawmakers and international bodies on Wednesday – to back the country’s peace deal – following two years of civil war.
The president also highlighted the challenge facing South Sudan with resettling more than 2.2 million people who have been displaced since the conflict started in December 2013.
Challenges of repatriation and rehabilitation
Kiir explained that a slide in oil prices has drained his government’s reserves, hindering the process of resettling those displaced throughout the country’s ongoing civil war.
“I have signed the peace agreement, but the implementation of this peace comes with challenges and high cost,” he said at a speech in Juba. “We have the challenges of repatriation and rehabilitation of internally displaced persons and returnees.”
The president also took the opportunity to take a shot at rebel leader Machar and his troops, claiming more attacks would be orchestrated by the “rebels,” further breaking the peace treaty agreed in August.
“As I speak, the rebels are still planning for more attacks on Malakal, Tharjath, Bentiu, Rubkuna, Guit, Leer and Pan Akuach,” he said.
Blame over the extended violence in South Sudan has been endlessly batted between Kiir’s government and Machar’s opposition forces since the conflict broke out. Each claims the other has violated the peace deal agreed in August, using their accusations as justification for further attacks.
Both parties insist they are dedicated to securing peace in the country, however both sides have been imposed with sanctions for prolonging the nation’s bloody conflict. As well as the 2.2 million people who have been displaced throughout the war, more than 10,000 have also been killed during the violence.
Earlier this month, South Sudan’s government confirmed it would meet with rebel leader Riek Machar to discuss implementation of the peace deal. Hopes are high that the meeting in Juba will signify the start of lasting peace in the world’s newest nation.