UN, Kenya urge South Sudan leaders to maintain peace
17 July 2016, 22:45
Nairobi (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday called on South Sudan
leaders to maintain peace in the world's youngest nation.
Addressing a joint news conference in Nairobi, Kenyatta said
regional leaders have a primary responsibility in maintaining peace
in the region and called on the international community to support
"We have all watched events in South Sudan with sorrow. Our
youngest brother has fallen, yet again, into division and violence.
It is our responsibility, all of us, but especially those in the
region, to restore peace, and to restore it durably," Kenyatta
"Let me be clear: those of us in the region have primary
responsibility for peace and security here. But that responsibility
is also collective, all of us must think carefully, and work hard,
in the cause of peace."
He called for a review of the mandate of the United Nations
Mission in South Sudan so that it can robustly enforce it in the
"The UN Security Council would be well advised to vary the
mandate of UNMISS so that it can separate those who have turned to
violence, so that it can protect the infrastructure South Sudan has
built, and so that it can enforce the peace," he said.
The Kenyan leader also commended South Sudanese leaders for
agreeing to cease hostilities, saying it needs to be enforced fully
without any delay.
"Collective responsibility also means that they must immediately
commit to the complete implementation of the peace agreement,
including the permanent ceasefire and redeployment of military
forces from Juba," he said.
Kenyatta said all parties to the conflict have to submit
themselves to the joint security agreements, especially those
establishing the joint integrated police units to patrol Juba.
"Equally, all parties to the conflict had better direct their
energies to empowering and directing the Joint Military Ceasefire
Commission to operate continuously so as to address issues as and
when they arise," he said.
The fighting between the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)
loyal to President Salva Kiir and the SPLA in Opposition, which
backs First Vice-President Riek Machar, reportedly killed some 272
people, including 33 civilians, and displaced at least 36,000
The mass displacements have sparked renewed concerns about the
prospects for peace and stability in the country.
Humanitarian partners are closely monitoring the evolving
situation in several locations across the country, including Yei,
Wau and Leer in order to deliver much needed food aid.
Regional leaders held a meeting in Rwanda on Saturday to seek a
lasting solution to the conflict in South Sudan.
Speaking at the joint news conference, Ban thanked Kenya for the
pivotal role it is playing in ensuring peace and security in the
region, lauding Kenyatta for playing a leading role in managing the
renewed crisis in South Sudan.
He said he is encouraged by the unified voice of African leaders
on regional security issues crisis.
"I thank President Kenyatta for his leadership and personal
engagement. We are working together to ensure that peace returns to
Juba and the rest of South Sudan. I appreciate Kenyan efforts to
continue to impress on the parties in South Sudan to strictly abide
by the cessation of hostilities and return to the peace process,"
The UN chief also thanked the Kenya government and its citizens
for their hospitality in hosting refugees from Somalia and other
troubled nations within the region.
"Kenya has a long and remarkable tradition as a welcoming and
generous nation. As civilians fled the renewed fighting in South
Sudan to neighboring areas, including Kakuma camp in Kenya, I
commend the hospitality of the Kenyan people," he said.
The UN secretary general also urged the Burundi government to be
more inclusive so as to end the crisis facing the country.
He said the world body will continue to support the political
process in Burundi led by the East African Community.
"It is critical that the region sends a united call for
Burundian stakeholders to fully commit to an inclusive dialogue to
solve the crisis," Ban added.