Ethiopia: AU envoy Konare urges end to South Sudanese political violence

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) -The African Union (AU) Special Envoy for South Sudan, Alpha Konare, has urged the South Sudanese leaders to stop the use of violence as a means of resolving the political crisis in their country and called for the start of “genuine dialogue” to restore democracy and rule of law.

At the end of a weeklong visit, which included high-level meetings with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, Konare urged the holding of talks, saying it was a “unique and historic opportunity” for genuine reconciliation, according to a statement issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday.

President Kiir proposed the convening of the National Dialogue and sent delegates to Addis Ababa for the launch of talks.

During his visit, the former Malian president, held talks with government officials and other stakeholders urging all to make the talks inclusive, free and transparent.

He said transparency and inclusivity of the talks would confer to the whole process the necessary legitimacy and prompt the support of the broader international community.

“This process is not meant to re-discuss the peace agreement but rather to look into ways and means to strengthen what is being achieved today, with the ultimate objective to actively prepare for the post-transition period, including the holding of democratic elections,” Konare said.

He said the National Dialogue will also allow South Sudanese stakeholders to discuss wide ranging issues of utmost national interest.

Issues to be discussed include the crucial questions of governance, security sector reform, healing, reconciliation and accountability.

Konare said violence was an unacceptable and unsustainable approach to ending the crisis.

During the 1-7 March visit, Konare said his main objective was to follow up on the progress of the peace process. He also explored new opportunities that could inform and promote more refined and constructive decision-making on overall peace in the country.

Konare met the top South Sudanese officials to receive viewpoints on the National Dialogue Initiative announced by President Kiir, the challenges and the potential responses and how such talks could serve a complementary role for peace in the country.

The AU Special Envoy met with President Kiir, First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deng Alor Kuol.

He visited Malakal, capital of Central Upper Nile State, as well as Yei, capital of Yei River State, and met Governors and leaderships of the State parliaments, chiefs and community leaders, faith-based groups, women and youth representatives.

-0- PANA AO/AR 15Mar2017

15 march 2017 18:41:13

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