S. Sudan President in South Africa for Peace Talks
South Sudan President Salva Kiir left the nation’s capital on Friday to attend peace talks in South Africa.
A presidential spokesperson has confirmed that Kiir will meet South African President, Jacob Zuma, to discus the progress of a peace deal signed in August, that agreed to end a 21-month spate of violence in South Sudan.
“The president will hold frank discussions to inform president Jacob Zuma of South Africa about the intention of the government to implement the agreement as it was signed on the 26th of August, 2015,” said spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny.
Ongoing tension in South Sudan
The presidential meeting comes after renewed tension in South Sudan, following President Kiir’s decreed a new 28 state system in South Sudan. The move has been condemned by opposition groups and international bodies as unconstitutional, but also a breach of the peace deal agreed back in August.
So far the peace deal has done little to calm the situation in South Sudan, with Kiir’s government and former deputy, Riek Machar’s, opposition blaming each other for the continued violence.
However, Foreign Affairs Minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, claims the peace deal has finally started to make an impact in South Sudan, highlighting the importance of the presidential meeting in South Africa.
“It is an important visit because you know very well that South African government, particularly president Jacob Zuma and the leadership of ANC (African National Congress), has been playing a strong and positive role in helping our country and the leadership to find lasting solution to this conflict,” he said.
Kiir will spend two days in South Africa, where he will clarify the commitment of his administration to establishing peace in South Sudan.