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US deeply concerned over S. Sudan peace

The US affirmed Sunday that it continues to support the people of South Sudan but voiced deep concern about “the direction of the current peace process.” “The only hope for success is a process that is widely inclusive of the views of the South Sudanese people and that engages civil society, churches, women, and other excluded groups,” and that “a narrow agreement between elites will not solve the problems plaguing South Sudan, the White House said in a statement.

“In fact, such an agreement may sow the seeds of another cycle of conflict. Therefore, the United States condemns the legislative measure to extend unilaterally the government’s term in office,” it stressed.

It urged the Government of South Sudan “to commit fully to negotiations that are truly inclusive and result in a new, representative, and accountable transitional government that grants a meaningful voice and power in governance and security to civil society and opposition groups, including opposition groups that have not resorted to violence during the current conflict.

“As a first step, the parties to the conflict must implement the cessation of hostilities and ceasefire agreements they have signed. The violence must stop now, and the parties must be held accountable for violating these commitments,” it noted.

Furthermore, the White House said that “the United States welcomes the United Nations Security Council arms embargo, and we call on regional partners and United Nations member states to enforce fully this measure and to stem the flow of arms into South Sudan.” It warned that the US “is prepared to sanction additional persons engaged in corrupt activity and those who threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan.” It called on regional leaders and financial institutions “to ensure that the proceeds from corrupt activity do not flow through their jurisdictions, and we call on them to block and freeze those assets that do.” It stressed that South Sudan’s political leaders, including President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar “have not demonstrated the leadership required to bring genuine peace and accountable governance to South Sudan,” saying “we remain skeptical that they can oversee a peaceful and timely transition to democracy and good governance.” It affirmed that the US “will not be a guarantor of any agreement, and will not fund or call for additional United Nations resources to support the transitional government, in the absence of a sustained, demonstrated commitment to peace, inclusivity, financial accountability and good governance.

“The South Sudanese people deserve an end to the violence and a future marked by prosperity and freedom from fear. We remain committed to supporting the South Sudanese people and to saving lives, and we continue to share their aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous tomorrow,” it concluded.

Source: Kuwait News Agency