A FORUM TO DISCUSS RESTORATION OF CEASEFIRE IN SOUTH SUDAN IS LAST CHANCE FOR PEACE

A high-level forum to discuss the restoration of a permanent ceasefire, full implementation of the peace agreement, and development of a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule for democratic elections in South Sudan opened here Monday.

In his opening remarks to the Second High-Level Revitalization Forum, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehou said the South Sudanese parties must think of the people they represent and not as individuals striving to clinch power.

Workneh., who is also Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), stressed that the forum was "the very last chance to move forward and achieve peace in South Sudan".

The South Sudanese parties have had numerous opportunities to change direction and failed repeatedly, he noted, adding that this really is the very last chance for you to accept your responsibilities and take the necessary actions.

No breakthrough in a peace process happens merely as a result of wishful thinking or chance, rather it requires determination, hard work and, most of all, the genuine commitment of all parties.

African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Mousa Faki Mahamat noted that the AU and its member States could no longer wait for the South Sudanese belligerence to make way for peace.

Stating that about 1.2 million South Sudanese, of whom 85 per cent are women and children, are displaced, he added: It is more than high time to prove your promises to your fellow South Sudanese.

"Strong and determined political will and acting as per the agreed and achieve results of the peace process would close the very sad chapter of South Sudan in no time," Mahamat added.

During the coming 10 days, the parties will discuss the restoration of a permanent ceasefire, full implementation of the peace agreement, and developing of revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards democratic elections at the end of the transitional period.

Source: NAM News Network

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