South Sudan government, opposition sign pact to achieve lasting peace-Xinhua

South Sudan government, opposition sign pact to achieve lasting peace

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-17 01:36:15

NAIROBI, May 16 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan's Transitional Government of National Unity and opposition groups signed a pact on Thursday to enhance efforts toward lasting peace and stability in the country.

By signing the declaration of commitment to the Tumaini initiative, meaning "hope" in Swahili, the two parties pledged to support efforts to end hostilities and promote inclusive growth in South Sudan.

The signing ceremony, held in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, was attended by senior government officials, diplomats, opposition groups, civil society and bilateral partners, all witnessing the commitment to the South Sudan peace process.

Abraham Korir SingOei, principal secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, hailed the signing of the new pact to boost the quest for peace, justice, inclusivity and good governance in South Sudan.

SingOei added that parties to the South Sudan peace process including the government and opposition groups had an obligation to promote justice, governance, economic growth and security sector reforms, to achieve long-term stability in the East African country.

This week, Kenya hosted high-level mediation talks initiated by President William Ruto earlier this month. The talks aim to establish a foundation for lasting peace in South Sudan.

In addition, the talks that brought on board government officials and opposition groups as well as civil society members were expected to discuss the modalities of holding general elections slated for December.

Albino Mathom, the head of the South Sudan government delegation, said the mediation talks, whose climax was the signing of the declaration of commitment to the South Sudan peace process, reaffirmed the vitality of home-grown initiatives to tackle regional conflicts.

Mathom added that given the calamities that civil strife has visited South Sudan in the last four decades, leaders and ordinary citizens were committed to closing that painful chapter and forging a future of hope, peace and justice.

Pagan Amum Okiech, the spokesperson for the Real Sudan People's Liberation Movement (R-SPLM), an opposition group, said the signing of the declaration of commitment to the Tumaini Initiative ushered in a new era of durable peace, unity and respect for political pluralism.

The South Sudan opposition groups, according to Amum, are committed to rescuing the country from multiple crisis, forge national consensus on designing a future of freedom, prosperity and justice for all citizens.

Meantime, Lazarus Sumbeiywo, the chief mediator of the ongoing high-level mediation process for South Sudan in Kenya, expressed faith in the commitment of all parties to ending hostilities that bode ill for stability in the region.

In December 2023, South Sudan President Salva Kiir reportedly asked his Kenyan counterpart, President Ruto, to assume the lead in mediating peace talks, taking over from the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome. Kiir expressed concerns that the talks had lingered without resolution under Sant'Egidio's mediation.

The Rome-based community adjourned the peace talks in March 2023 due to disagreements between the parties regarding the agenda.