The South Sudan peace pact is set to resume in Ethiopia’s capital amid ongoing reports of hostilities between the warring parties of the country’s arm forces and rebels.
The political unrest in South Sudan raged in mid-December 2013. The unrest became a deadly warfare between troops loyal to the government and those loyal to the country’s former vice president. Thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands were displace.
Reports started to stir the headline that a cease-fire is supposed to be in force. However, the rebels claimed that the fighting is still not ceasing and the government forces are also engaged in battle.
The violence that started in December 2013 has displaced more than 800,000 people and killed 10,000.
The seven-week power struggle between the country’s President Salva Kiir and former vice president Mr. Marchar has sparked an ethnic clashes.
U.S. Concern About Violations of Cessation of Hostilities in South Sudan
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the US ise deeply concerned by reports of violations by both the Government of South Sudan and anti-government forces of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement that was signed in Addis Ababa on January 23.
“We urge the redeployment or phased withdrawal of foreign forces invited by either side, and warn of the serious consequences which could result from any regionalization of this conflict.” – Ms. Psaki
She said the US welcomes the arrival in Juba of the first component of the team that will eventually monitor and verify the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement.
The US is also looking looking forward to the beginning of the IGAD-led political dialogue and inclusive reconciliation process.
Cessation of hostilities in December 2013
South Sudan’s government led by Salva Kiir and opposition forces led by Riek Machar agreed to end hostitilities by signing an agreement.
The two groups have been fighting for some time, and each has blamed the other for starting the conflict. Recently, the United Nations said it believed casualties were “much higher” than its earlier December 26 estimate of over 1,000. The International Crisis Group estimated more than 10,000 people may have been killed.
According to media reports, under the terms of the agreement the soldiers of both the national army and the opposition must stop fighting.
The agreement will pave the way to resolve the crisis that started a month ago in South Sudan.
The agreement includes four points:
- First, they agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities.
- Second, both agree to stop media campaigns and propaganda statements against each other.
- Third, they agree to allow humanitarian access to assist victims of the conflict.
- Finally, they agree on the withdrawal of foreign troops from South Sudan including the Ugandan army.