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THE JOURNEY TO PEACE IN SOUTH SUDAN


In about five years ago, civil war broke in the young African nation of South Sudan, up to now several negotiations have failed to broker peace deals between the waring factions in the country. The unending conflict has resulted in thousands of death and displacements with others seeking refuge in neighbouring nations.

South Sudan peace is currently a key concern to many African and global leaders who have been on the forefront of finding lasting solutions to the instability in the East African country pledging support for the peace quest. The recent being the Vatican, where the Pope held a spiritual retreat urging both parties to realize their responsibility for the present and future of their country.

President Salva Kiir is currently on a two-day visit to Kenya meeting his counterpart President Kenyatta. From the visit, the Kenyan government has agreed to allocate 10 acres of its land in Naivasha for South Sudan’s dry port.

 “The Kenya government has responded to the request of South Sudan to set aside 10 acres of land at the inland container depot in Naivasha industrial park, to ease the movement of goods destined to South Sudan,” said Kenyatta.

In addition, the East African nation will hold a trade expo in South Sudan in November this year, as part of measures aimed at restoring confidence that South Sudan is open for business and reigniting trade and commercial cooperation.

 As the visit provides for a great opportunity that enables the comprehensive exploration of bilateral cooperation while mapping strides of enhancing bilateral relations in different fields, South Sudan remains a strategic partner of Kenya in many areas.

Last week, South Sudan’s Minister for Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs, Paul Mayom Akec, stated that South Sudan is fully committed to paying what it owes the regional body requesting EAC to give his country more time to remit its arrears instead of suspending the young nation.

South Sudan, which joined the bloc on September 5, 2016, has reportedly not remitted most of its dues, accruing a debt of at least $27 million. As report by the African Development Bank, the countries economy is falling as the GDP continues to shrink while inflation continue to spike.

The situation in South Sudan can be said to be far from over given that the root cause of the conflict is the internal desire of various individuals to amass more wealth hence pushing more entities into war.

For peace to be achieved, the question of distribution of wealth needs to be addressed together with the proceeds being derived from it. The conflicting interests both internally and externally continue to stagnate the peace process.

As the 8th anniversary of the country approaches, the leaders need to assess the damage caused by the war, put aside their difference and deliver unity, peace and security for the country to be able to realize the great opportunity that lies not just in the African continent given the availability of the AfCTA  but also across the globe.

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