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South Sudan’s politicians call for inclusive peace addressing root causes

A sign celebrating five years of South Sudanese independence on a bullet-damaged wall opposite to the presidential palace in Juba on 15 July 2016 (AFP Photo)July 9, 2020 (JUBA) - The leaders of the National Democratic Movement(NDM) and the National Salvation Front (NAS) issued separate statements on the 9th anniversary of South Sudan Independence calling for inclusive peace and to address the root causes of the conflict

South Sudanese did not celebrate the Independence Day of the country as part of the government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which hit the country. President Kiir issued a statement reiterating his commitment for peace and stability after five years of civil war.

NDM leader Lam Aokl on Thursday said South Sudanese do not yet have something to celebrate nine years after the independence and called for inclusive implementation of the peace agreement to bring better news for South Sudanese next year.

"Today, we have not much to celebrate but we commemorate a special day in our history. But as we do so, we must be mindful of the suffering of our people," said Lam Akol in a statement he issued on the 9th anniversary of the independence.

He said the revitlazed peace agreement which was reached through compromises is " a minimum common programme for running the country through the next three years. It is about the last chance that we either make it together or we let our people down".

He called to implement its provisions "honestly and transparently in an inclusive manner". and expressed hope that We hope that the next anniversary will have better soothing news for South Sudan’s people.

NAS calls to address root causes

In a statement on the 9the independence anniversary, Thomas Cirillo the leader of the holdout National Salva Front (NAS) said the revitalized peace agreement flawed and failed to address the root cause of the conflict in South Sudan.

"Among the root causes is the establishment of a system of governance, based on federalism that divides powers at various levels of governments so that power is restored to people," he repeated.

He also condemned the violations of the ceasefire agreement signed in Rome under the sponsorship of Sant Edigio group

Cirillo warned against inter-communal fighting and pointed accusing finger to the government saying it was inciting another ethnic fight between the Azande and the Balanda ethnic groups in Western Equatoria State.

(ST)