The UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan, Christopher Trott, is urging regional countries to keep pressure on warring parties in South Sudan so they can stop hostilities and reach a successful peace agreement.
Six years after obtaining independence, South Sudan peace remains fragile.
And, for the last three years, the country has been embroiled in a series of armed conflicts.
The African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa have led efforts to mediate among warring factions in South Sudan.
Other mediators including Trott on behalf of the British government, have moved to support existing efforts to settle the disagreements.
“We cannot allow the killing that we have seen in South Sudan over the last three years to continue any longer and I think that Rwanda can in some ways teach a lesson to those that are involved in conflicts because you can speak from experience about the impact of this kind of fighting,” Trott said in an interview with The New Times in Kigali yesterday.
Rwanda contributes to the peace process in South Sudan in various ways, including the contribution of troops currently serving as peacekeepers under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Trott appreciated the Rwandan contingent’s work, saying that the troops also protected him during a visit in Malakal’s region of South Sudan where they are working side by side with their UK counterparts.
With President Kagame set to officially take over the chairmanship of the African Union on January 28, the British diplomat urged the President to keep a closer eye on the peace process in South Sudan.
“He is going to be the head of the continental organisation that has oversight over everything that is happening on this continent and I hope that he can use that to encourage IGAD to work further towards peace and to encourage the parties themselves to commit to peace,” he said.
Before Christmas, a cessation of hostilities was negotiated among 24 groups in South Sudan, including twelve political parties and armed groups and twelve civil society groups, but Trott told The New Times that more efforts are still needed to get the warring parties to permanently stop the fighting.