AU urges implementation of South Sudan peace deal

Ambassador Smail Chergui (Second from Left) gives his remarks during the 66th Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers IGAD.

The African Union has urged South Sudan’s parties to fully implement the peace agreement signed in September in order to realize lasting peace in the country.

The AU’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, on Friday said the organization would not tolerate violations of the deal in the quest to pacify the country.

“We believe implementation of this new Agreement by the Parties is what is required to build and sustain confidence… Parties to ensure they implement the Agreement,” Ambassador Chergui said.

Chergui made the remarks while attending the 66th Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“I visited South Sudan and pledged the AU’s support; dispatched an AUC interdepartmental team to South Sudan which has reported the need to support this implementation process. The AU Commission and the Ad Hoc Committee will meet with the IGAD Special Envoy to discuss AU support,” he added.

South Sudan has been plagued by conflict since December 2013, sparked by a feud between President Salva Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar.

Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup against his rule, allegations the latter refuted but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions others, prompting the UN to rank South Sudan as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis, coming third worldwide after Syria and Afghanistan.

The September deal is seen as the country’s way out of the chaos, with lasting peace the ultimate goal.