The oversight body monitoring South Sudan’s peace agreement, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) has strongly condemned an upsurge of fighting in the country that has displaced over 50,000 people since January.
Speaking in a meeting of stakeholders on Wednesday in Juba, chairperson of the evaluation commission, Festus Mogae stated that recent flareup in armed clashes, sexual violence and increased restrictions on aid delivery in the past three months has greatly threatened peace in the East African nation.
“I am also dismayed at the continuing conflict in Equatoria and the appalling outbreak of the violence of in Wau and Upper Nile over the past two weeks. The recent fighting around Malakal and Renk was a blatant violation of the ceasefire. Individually and collectively JMEC condemns the violence,” he said.
The former President of Botswana also called on the country’s warring parties to make every effort for the total cessation of violence around the country and allow immediate deployment of the regional protection force approved by the UN Security council in August 2016.
He has also called for a fully inclusive and representative political process that accommodates the interests of all the parties to the agreement and communities without renegotiating the August agreement.
“We urge the Transitional Government of National Unity, IGAD and the international community, to take advantage of President Salva Kiir’s national dialogue initiative and reach out to the estranged parties and their followers.
For dialogue to have a real meaning and effect it must include more than those who already agree with the government, and take account of all views and concerns,” further indicated the chairperson of the evaluation commission.
International pressure, including the threat of sanctions, has so far failed to halt the fighting in the war torn country.
An estimated 3 million people have been displaced since the beginning of the conflict.