16 Aug Foreign diplomats urge South Sudan parties to respect ceasefire
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to South Sudan Geert Geut today called on the warring parties to respect ceasefire, amid reports of fighting between government and opposition forces in some parts of the country.
“National dialogue can only take place if there is security in this country if people feel free to speak their minds… so we pressure upon the steering committee and also on the government to respect the call for unilateral ceasefire,” Ambassador Geut said after briefing conducted by the national dialogue committee to foreign diplomats in Juba.
He also called on the opposition to stop fighting to give the national dialogue process a chance in the country. The Dutch diplomat reiterated his country’s support for the dialogue process and peace initiatives in South Sudan.
He commended the government of South Sudan for releasing a number of political prisoners to create an enabling environment for the national dialogue, while urging the relevant authorities to release the remaining prisoners to be part of the process.
The Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan Kiya Masahiko commended the progress made in the dialogue process. He stressed the need to stop the ongoing fighting in different parts of the country.
“I would like to welcome the recent announcement by the government to release a large number of political prisoners, and I hope that this will contribute to improving the enabling environment for the national dialogue. I hope that further actions will be taken by the government as well as the opposition groups so that everyone will be on board,” he said.
Masahiko called on the warring parties to make peace in South Sudan, while reiterating his government’s commitment to support the peace process in the country.
Joram Biswaro, the African Union (AU) Ambassador to South Sudan, said the African Union is now supporting the national dialogue and other initiatives to bring about peace in South Sudan.
Biswaro commended the government for releasing a group of political prisoners in order to create a conducive atmosphere for the national dialogue. He urged the government to release the remaining political prisoners.
Betty Achan Ogwaro, a member of the national dialogue, said the steering committee briefed several foreign diplomats in Juba on the progress made in the national dialogue.
She called on all South Sudanese to join the national dialogue process.