The United Kingdom Minister for Africa, James Duddridge has said there should be no further delay to form South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity in accordance with the August 2015 peace accord to end the war and alleviate the suffering of the people.
Duddridge, who visited the South Sudanese capital Juba, met President Salva Kiir, foreign affairs minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin and the armed opposition faction’s (SPLM-IO), chief negotiator Taban Deng Gai yesterday.
“In his meetings the Minister emphasised the UK’s desire to see the peace agreement fully implemented and urged the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity without further delay,” a brief statement by the British embassy in Juba indicated.
During his meetings with the South Sudanese officials, Duddridge made clear his government’s position to both the nation’s leaders and the opposition.
“All South Sudan’s leaders bear a responsibility to their people to implement the peace agreement fully so the long and difficult task of rebuilding the country can begin,” he said.
Britain forms part of the Troika, comprising of the United States and Norway. The Troika sponsored the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediated peace process, which halted the South Sudan’s conflict that killed tens of thousands of people.
Last week, however, the Troika halted accommodating members of the armed opposition’s advance team, citing what it described as the lack of commitment from the two warring factions to form a transitional government.
But Duddridge said the UK would continue to support the South Sudanese.
“The UK has a long term commitment to South Sudan and we will continue to work towards the peaceful and prosperous future its people deserve,” he stressed, without elaboration on the specific support.
Duddridge also visited the United Nations base hosting hundreds of thousands of people seeking protection from peace keepers over the last two years.
“The UK is committing long term support to the South Sudanese people, along with emergency humanitarian assistance, to help the country recover after two years of conflict,” further noted the UK embassy statement.
It added: “Beginning this year, the UK is also committing over 250 UK military personnel to the UN Mission in South Sudan so it can more effectively support peace and security”.