A joint United Nations and African Union delegation are today in South Sudan to help shore up the revitalized peace deal which was inked in Ethiopia in September, the UN mission said on Friday.
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said officials including Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Smail Chergui, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, will undertake a joint visit to South Sudan from Oct. 7 to 10.
The UN mission said the delegation will use the visit to commend the South Sudanese stakeholders for signing the peace agreement in September and encourage them to faithfully implement it.
“The delegation will also travel to Bentiu and meet with women leaders and organizations, including those living in the Protection of the Civilian site. They will also meet with the leadership and personnel of the UN system,” said the mission in a statement issued in Juba.
It said the senior UN and AU officials are expected to hold talks with senior government officials including President Salva Kiir and later travel to Addis Ababa and brief the African Union Peace and Security Council on Oct. 10.
“More specifically, the visit will focus on tangible actions and re-emphasizing the significance of elevating, safeguarding and ensuring women’s meaningful participation and leadership in the implementation of the Agreement,” it said.
South Sudan’s conflict is now entering its fifth year since it erupted in late 2013 after forces loyal to Kiir and his former deputy Machar engaged in combat.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.
Millions of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries as the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players to end it.