AU LAMENTS SOUTH SUDAN CONFLICT

ADDIS ABABA, The fighting which erupted in July in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, has reversed all the gains which have been made to restore peace in the world's youngest nation, and now the country is back to square one, says former Botswana president Festus Mogae.

Mogae, who is the chairman of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission for South Sudan set up by the African Union (AU), says the the situation in that country remains fragile.

He was speaking to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on the sidelines of the 28th AU Summit being held this week at the AU headquarters here at which the South Sudan conflict is among the top agenda items.

South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, has been rocked by civil war caused by political squabbles between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy president, Riek Machar.

Five years after gaining independence, South Sudan is still gripped by a civil war which has claimed almost 50,000 lives and displaced an estimated 1.6 million people. The UN says the situation is almost near genocide.

Despite the signing of a peace agreement, South Sudan has close to two million of its people outside the country as refugees and more than 500,000 internally displaced inside the country.

Mogae says the conflict has stalled the country's developmental agenda.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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