Kenya calls for sustainable peace in South Sudan as talks begin

Kenyan President William Ruto has launched mediation talks between parties in South Sudan’s peace process, calling for their strong commitment to achieving sustainable peace.

The peace talks were led by former Kenya Army Commander Lazurus Sumbeiywo, who also mediated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 that paved the way for South Sudan’s independence.

Ruto, who launched the talks in Nairobi, said the mediation process is keen on ending conflict and political instability in South Sudan because it is inclusive and home-grown.

“This initiative exemplifies the pan-African policy of African solutions to African challenges that contributes to the ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa initiative’ and fostering an environment for transformational development in South Sudan.

“Also in our region and the entire African continent,” he said in a statement issued by the presidency.

The Kenyan president lauded the progress made by the Transitional Government of National Unity, the Real-Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, and the South Sudan United Front in the mediation process.

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Ruto said Kenya stands ready to help end the cycle of conflict and instability in Sudan so that its people can achieve the peace and prosperity for which they have long struggled.

The launch of high-level meditation for South Sudan was attended by African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, and presidents of countries in the region, including Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi.

Others are Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, Nangolo Mbumba of Namibia, and Faustin-Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic.

Kiir thanked Ruto for accepting the role of resolving the South Sudan process, saying he was hopeful that the mediation will yield positive results ahead of the country’s general elections later this year.

Kiir said the South Sudanese government will take part in the negotiation in good faith and with an open mind.

“We hope that the opposition groups have a similar conviction and desire for peace in South Sudan, which, when fully achieved, will bring everlasting stability and economic development in the region, not just South Sudan,” he said.

Sumbeiywo lauded regional and international partners for supporting the peace process.

“After this launch, we plan to engage in sustained and continuous mediation to ensure a speedy and comprehensive resolution of the issues, so long as the parties go along with the plan,” he added.

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