August 28, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — On behalf of the Troika (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway) and the European Union, I am proud to have witnessed the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, who on behalf of his government and people signed the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan. We welcome the decision by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to choose peace, and recognize this significant step as the full and final approval of the agreement by the government of the Republic of South Sudan. We consider his signature, as well as the signatures of those parties who signed on August 17, to be a written commitment to fully implement all of the terms of this agreement.
On behalf of the Troika and the EU, I express our deep gratitude to the IGAD heads of state and government, to the IGAD mediation, and to our partners in Rwanda, South Africa, China and the European Union. This negotiation has been a long and arduous journey, and we deeply appreciate your unceasing efforts. All of the true friends of South Sudan present here today are united in support of this agreement.
This agreement belongs to the leaders and the people of South Sudan. The agreement gives them another chance to build a peaceful and prosperous future. The Troika looks to the leaders and the people to exercise leadership and vision in its implementation. We stand ready to support you. We remember the bitter history of earlier agreements where failure to achieve full implementation led to renewed conflict. To avoid a return to fighting, we urge all of the leaders of South Sudan to fully commit to the full implementation of all elements of this agreement.
The Troika expects an immediate and permanent ceasefire by all parties. We are ready to actively participate in the monitoring of the ceasefire. Let me be clear that there will be consequences for those who return to arms.
Since I arrived in Juba last month, I have had the opportunity to meet with many in the government, as well as with members of civil society and leaders of academic, religious, traditional, and political groups. In support of peace, we have engaged in frank discussions about this agreement. We recognize and salute President Salva Kiir Mayardit for holding consultations on the agreement. All should follow his example and continue to discuss the agreement to ensure the people of South Sudan clearly undersand its aims and objectives and to correct misrepresentations of its contents.
Lastly, we remain steadfast in our support for humanitarian efforts in South Sudan, and call for an immediate lifting of all restrictions on humanitarian access. It is a sad fact that the signature of this agreement will not immediately end food insecurity in South Sudan. More than two million people remain displaced, and they will not be able to return home as quickly as they hope. Everyone must now redouble their efforts to reach those who are suffering and to help them regain housing and livelihoods.
In closing, we want to be clear that we simply want this new country to succeed and for South Sudan to have the opportunity to regain the dreams present at independence in 2011. Our goal has been to reach a negotiated and sustainable settlement that ends the war and the suffering and the instability. We congratulate all those who exercised leadership in pursuit of that goal. For the sake of the next generation, we will support the peacemakers as they pursue reconciliation and reconstruction. We commend the leaders of South Sudan for choosing peace, and we pledge our support for their efforts.
Mary Catherine Phee
VIDEO: Aug. 26, 2015: Daily Press Briefing with Spokesperson John Kirby at Department of State.