UN says ending communal violence critical for sustainable peace in South Sudan
South Sudan should focus on ending intermittent communal violence at local levels in order to achieve steady peace progress during the recently extended transition period, a United Nations official said on Monday.
Sara Beysolow Nyanti, the Deputy Special Representative in the UN Mission (UNMISS) and Resident Coordinator in South Sudan, called on all parties to the 2018 revitalized peace deal to accomplish the pending critical tasks before the end of the transition period in February 2025.
"We must be frank to admit that much more critical work remains to be done at the local levels, the extension of the peace agreement needs to be translated into a reduction of incidents of sub-national violence and inter-communal conflicts," she said during celebrations to mark the United Nations Day in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Nyanti who welcomed the recent graduation of some of the first batch of unified forces underscored the need for an all-inclusive constitution-making process to pave way for free, fair and credible elections, to mark the end of the transition and the beginning of South Sudan's journey as a truly democratic nation.
"We know that without peace, there can be no sustainable development. This is why we are working with the government and communities as an impartial partner to help deliver sustained peace, humanitarian assistance, security and development," said Nyanti.
The Minister of Peacebuilding Stephen Par Kuol emphasized the need for parties to work in unity to conclude the implementation of the outstanding issues.
South Sudan descended into conflict in December 2013 following a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his then-deputy Riek Machar.
The conflict that caused a split within the national army led to the killing of tens of thousands and displaced millions both internally and externally.
The 2015 peace deal signed under international pressure to end fighting collapsed due to renewed violence in July 2016. The 2018 revitalized peace deal remains the only path to achieving sustainable peace and security in the youngest nation.