JUBA, -- Concluding a four-day field mission to South Sudan, the 15 members of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) have emphasized the critical importance of ensuring humanitarian access to victims of the ongoing conflict in the country.

"The objective of the field mission was to gather first-hand information regarding the political, security, humanitarian and socioeconomic situation in the country," the PSC said in a statement issued Tuesday.

According to the statement, the field mission to South Sudan was undertaken on Oct 28-31 and led by Ambassador Catherine Muigai Mwangi of Kenya in her capacity as Chairperson of the PSC for the month.

It said that the PSC commended the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) under President Salva Kiir Mayardit "for demonstrating the necessary political will and commitment to implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) signed in August 2015."

Besides holding extensive consultations with the president and other members of the TGoNU, including the First Vice President of the TGoNU, General Taban Deng Gai, members of the PSC visited two sites for the protection of civilians in Juba and Malakal. They interacted with representatives of the internally displaced persons in those sites.

The Council appealed to all South Sudanese to fully embrace the peace process encouraged the TGoNU to ensure that the implementation of the Peace Agreement is inclusive.

In addition, the government should embark on a nationwide campaign of civic education, with a view to generating the necessary momentum for the successful implementation of the Peace Agreement, said the PSC in its statement.

Underscoring the urgent need for the establishment of accountability, justice and reconciliation mechanisms as provided for in the Peace Agreement, including appropriate mechanisms to address issues relating to sexual violence in a timely manner, with a view to ensuring justice for the victims, the PSC welcomed the consent of the TGoNU for the deployment of the Regional Protection Force pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2304.

In addition, the PSC encouraged constructive engagement between the Government of South Sudan and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with regard to the management of sites for the protection of civilians.

Also, the PSC strongly urged all South Sudanese to embrace dialogue to find a consensual solution to the challenges impeding the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

Source: Nam News Network

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