UNMISS welcomes signing of fresh commitment to peace in South Sudan
The signing of a revitalized peace agreement by all parties to the conflict in South Sudan is a significant step forward in the process of ending the ongoing violence and the immense suffering of their people, says the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, spoke at the signing ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today.
“While this is a single step on the road to enduring peace, it is the one that lays the foundations for all that must follow,” said David Shearer. “For those of us who see first-hand the bitter fighting on the ground and meet those who suffer most, we would not have believed three months ago that we would be at this point. But we also know that the greatest challenges are yet to come during the implementation phase.”
The SRSG particularly acknowledged the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the Governments of Sudan and Ethiopia who have patiently championed negotiations over the past few months and shown true leadership in bringing the parties together to sign a new agreement.
“The United Nations and the international community will be expected to play their role in assisting with genuine reconciliation and peacebuilding activities. However, we need to be persuaded by the demonstration of collective political will of the parties to implement an agreed and realistic implementation plan,” said David Shearer.
“The key ingredient still lacking is trust. Those signing the agreement are former friends and foes. From my discussions with the parties, suspicion is widespread. It is beholden on all of us to encourage trust between parties.”
“A genuine commitment to peace and concrete actions to implement the agreement will encourage the people of South Sudan to move back to their homes to lead lives that are safe and self-reliant. And, enable the country to transition from its current dire economic state to an environment that attracts investment and development”.