UN envoy says Kiir-Machar meeting raises optimism for peace in South Sudan
December 18th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A top United Nations (UN) envoy in South Sudan has said recent meetings of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny has raised hope and optimism for peace in the world’s youngest country after several extensions of pre-transitional period raised questions on leader’s political will to implement peace deal.
The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, told the Security Council on Tuesday that the joint Kiir-Machar meetings raises hope for peace.
“The joint meetings in the past days between President [Salva] Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar are encouraging, with both sides recommitting themselves to the peace process. It has restored some of the optimism and momentum that has been lost with the delays in the peace agreement,” Shearer said.
He urged the South Sudanese parties to the revitalized peace agreement to exert efforts on peace implementation and recommit to it.
“All parties now need to choose to follow on with their words, and the international partners need to remain fully resolute, as I am sure they will do, in their support.”
Kiir and Machar has been meeting in the capital Juba since last week. Those talks however ended without a clear breakthrough as they failed to deliberate on the issue of the number and boundaries of states which has been a thorny issue in the implementation of the 2018 peace deal.
The top UN official said recent extensions of the pre-transitional period “dampened initial hopes, eroded some trust and confidence, and caused people to suspect that the political will between the parties is waning.”
“The international engagement, together with Dr. Riek Machar’s presence in Juba over the past week, and during face-to-face meetings with President Kiir, has led to positive statements from both leaders in the past 24 hours.”