UNHCR welcomes agreement to revive South Sudan's stalled peace process

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South Sudanese refugees queue for cash distributions at Meri camp in Haut-Uele province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, December 2017.   © UNHCR/Colin Delfosse

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the recent agreement by the South Sudan government and opposition groups to revive the stalled peace process, and calls for the inclusion of refugees in shaping the destiny of the country.

The agreement was signed on December 21 between the rival parties of the conflict in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the High-Level Revitalization Forum. It aims to revitalize the 2015 peace agreement, cease hostilities, ease humanitarian access, ensure civilian protection and introduce sanctions on those violating the accord.

‘‘The latest initiative comes as a ray of hope for South Sudanese who have witnessed the ravages of war since 2013,’’ said Arnauld Akodjenou, UNHCR Special Envoy for the South Sudan situation.

Akodjenou said he hoped South Sudan will achieve peace and that parties will not dash the hopes of millions who have endured suffering for far too long.

‘‘We are calling for unreserved support to translate this agreement on paper into silencing the guns throughout South Sudan,’’ he added.

UNHCR is particularly heartened that the agreement upholds the rights of the South Sudan refugees and those displaced inside the country with references to assure the civilian character of settlements - urging the parties to actively pursue solutions on their behalf. 

The Agreement is expected to breathe a new life into a fraught peace process and will renew aspirations for peace among the four million people driven from their homes in the world’s youngest nation - including 2 million refugees hosted in six neighbouring asylum countries who have witnessed several peace initiatives come to pass without results.

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