Home | News    Friday 11 August 2017

German FM calls for inclusion of opposition in S. Sudan dialogue

August 10, 2017 (JUBA) - The German Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel has urged South Sudan President Salva Kiir to involve the armed opposition faction in the country’s national dialogue process.

JPEG - 25.4 kb
Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel and UNMISS SRSG David Shearer (UN Photo)

Official launched by the South Sudanese leader in May this year, the national dialogue initiative is both a forum and process through which the people South Sudan shall gather to redefine the basis of their unity as it relates to nationhood, redefine citizenship and belonging, as well as restructure the state for national inclusion.

However, while addressing reporters in the South Sudan capital, Juba Thursday, Sigmar said leaders of the two warring sides need to dialogue instead of pursuing endless military solution to the violence.

"Still there is no alternative to this peace process because neither of the two sides in this conflict can win the conflict militarily. And therefore we support the vision of the President to launch the national dialogue," said the senior German official.

He said the international community is still supporting the war-torn nation with humanitarian aid to overcome the humanitarian suffering that has left millions of people in need of food assistance.

"It’s a good thing that the international community and also the neighboring countries like Uganda support the peace process. However, the peace process can only be successful when it comes from South Sudan itself," stressed Sigmar.

"Yesterday in Uganda, we had opportunity to see how many refugees come to Uganda from South Sudan because they do not see any future prospect for the security of their families in South Sudan," he added.

The German Foreign minister also lauded President Kiir for pardoning political prisoners as the country strives for political reconciliation.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after President Kiir sacked his former deputy Riek Machar, accusing the latter of attempting a coup. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions in less than five years of the instability.

Meanwhile, the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, met with the German Foreign Affairs and expressed his gratitude for the country’s contribution to the protection of civilians and building a durable peace in South Sudan.

During his visit, however, Sigmar was also briefed by the senior UN official on the security and humanitarian situation in the country.

(ST)