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South Sudan gov't assures Juba ceasefire will hold

South Sudan gov't assures Juba ceasefire will hold

South Sudan

The government of South Sudan has said the ceasefire it announced last week will continue to be observed as the country seeks to return to normal.

A presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny disclosed this in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) in Juba on Sunday.

“Juba has been calm since the start of coming into force of the order by the President to cease fire and to cease hostilities. Although the President started it as unilateral, it did hold, given that the forces of the IO (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition) were no longer in Juba until a new arrangement is done for them to come back to Juba. So the general situation is that some people are still precautious but it has almost come back to normalcy,” he said.

Juba has been calm since the start of coming into force of the order by the President to cease fire and to cease hostilities.

South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir has also urged his first vice president, Riek Machar to come back to the transitional government according to Ateny.

“The president spoke to Machar by phone on Thursday, and Machar was saying he is coming back to Juba or coming back to the transitional government on condition that he needs international forces who would be called third party forces, something we categorically reject simply because United Nations already has 12,000 troops in Juba,” Ateny said.

The government spokesperson also expressed regret over the death of two Chinese peacekeepers in the conflict between forces loyal to President Kiir and his first Vice President Machar.

“We condemn the killing of the two people from the peacekeeping force who happen to be Chinese (which) made it even worse, because China is a friend of South Sudan” he said.

Ateny said the government will “investigate the matter to see whether it was our forces (who) fired (at the) friendly, because sometimes there is friendly fire”.

“What we want to tell the people of China and the government of China is that we are still friends, this is a mistake, it was not intended. So we are not fighting the United Nations, and so we regret this and we tell the people of China to bear with us as we investigate the matter,” Ateny added.

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