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U.S. diplomat welcomes progress in South Sudan peace process

August 9, 2018 (JUBA) – U.S. Ambassador to Juba welcomed the recent progress achieved by the South Sudanese parties as they signed the governance and power-sharing deal but stressed that a successful peace and be measured by the willingness to work together and trust each other.

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Thomas Hushek (US Department of State)

The United States, a main sponsor of the IGAD-led peace process, still didn’t react to the signing of an agreement on the outstanding issues of governance chapter, which is a big breakthrough paving the way for the final signing of the revitalized peace agreement.

Reached by South Sudan in Focus programme of the VOA radio, Ambassador Thomas Hushek said Washington is “excited about the progress made” at this critical stage.

“We’re really hoping that the parties stick to their efforts to come to the table, be willing to compromise when necessary, uphold their commitments first and foremost to the ceasefire, and start working on ways to resolve remaining issues of conflict,” he said.

Before to add that “the ultimate yardstick on whether there is a success or not in a peace process is they can resolve conflicts through peaceful means without resorting to arms”.

The American diplomat said they want the success of the process and wonder how they can make it works this time but before to do anything they look at the commitment of the parties to the revitalized agreement.

“One of the first parameters we look at is whether people are holding the ceasefire,” he said before to add, “I think recruitment is continuing into various militias and that is something doesn’t necessarily bode well”.

In this respect, he pointed that the government and the SPLM-IO have to build confidence in Their constituencies that they are moving in the right direction and that the people of South Sudan have confidence in the process.

Regarding the relations with the international community, Hushek said this government or the future government has to work for the improvement of relations with the international community through taking visible steps such as the removal of impediments to humanitarian access to the affected civilians, and to actively consult with the civil society.

On Thursday, President Sava Kiir briefed the army on the governance and power-sharing agreement signed in Khartoum with the opposition leaders and instructed the army to stop considering the former rebels as enemy but colleagues to build peace and stability in South Sudan.

When asked about the sanctions imposed on South Sudan, Hushek said people should wait until the implementation of the peace agreement.

(ST)

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