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U.S. envoy urges S. Sudanese parties to renounce violence

September 21, 2019 (NEW YORK) - South Sudanese parties not signatory to the revitalized accord should renounce violence and seek political resolution, a top United States diplomat said.

The US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Kelly Craft (Reuters)

Kelly Craft, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations told the Security Council Wednesday that parties which signed the agreement should engage with its non-signatories in a "non-violent" manner.

“Despite ongoing activity that contradicts the letter and the spirit of the Revitalized Agreement, the United States believes there is still time for the parties to move closer to peace before November’s political deadline,” she said.

In September 2018, South Sudan’s rival factions signed a peace agreement to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.

The power-sharing arrangements under the deal were supposed to take effect on May 12, but the process was delayed by six months until November 12 as both sides disagreed on security arrangements.

The senior US diplomat, however, called on South Sudan’s leaders to agree to the terms for security arrangements and to resolve the critical issue of the number and boundaries of states in South Sudan.

“We also urge them to formally establish the Hybrid Court in partnership with the African Union (AU), whose role in the peace process – along with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – we support,” she stressed.

Craft further urged South Sudan’s leaders to recommit themselves to ensuring a full and meaningful role for women in the mechanism of the revitalized peace agreement and the transitional government.

Meanwhile, the US envoy welcomed the recent meeting between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar in Juba.

She, however, stressed that to build confidence in the peace process, engagement focused on tangible outcomes is still needed.

“Unfortunately, the peace process in South Sudan has focused too much on (the) dialogue between political elites and too little on the suffering of the people of South Sudan,” noted Craft.

South Sudan descended into war in mid-December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup.