Juba, SOUTH SUDAN (Aug. 26, 2015) — The signing of the peace agreement by President Salva Kiir Mayardit is a positive step toward ending the brutal 20 month civil war but aid agencies CARE, IRC, Oxfam, and World Vision say it is only the beginning of a long, hard journey towards peace and reconciliation.
The people of South Sudan need to have a say in the future of their own country. Any reconciliation process should include the voices of all South Sudanese – various ethnic groups, political parties, civil society, faith groups, youth and women – and ensure their needs and interests are represented.
International and regional diplomatic actors should monitor the peace agreement to ensure the protection of civilians, guarantee their safe access to humanitarian assistance, and support programs that will help people improve their lives.
Zlatko Gegic, Country Director for Oxfam in South Sudan said:
“This agreement is an important first step in ending unbearable suffering for millions of South Sudanese but much more needs to be done to ensure real lasting peace and stability. With millions of people hungry and many more in need of help, it is of a crucial importance that all warring parties respect the agreement and stop fighting immediately and allow people to access life saving aid.
“Oxfam strongly appeals to the leaders of South Sudan to support community reconciliation and forge a path for peace that addresses the root causes of conflict. Efforts need to be redoubled on rebuilding the economy as well as providing vital services like clean water and healthcare for all citizens.
“Donor governments need to urgently fund emergency assistance for the 4.6 million South Sudanese still severely hungry and the millions more who need clean water, shelter and help to rebuild their lives. As parts of the country prepare for the harvesting season, donors should support agricultural and income-generating programmes that boost people’s ability to provide for their families.”
John Hoare, Country Director for CARE in South Sudan said:
“This is good news but the people of South Sudan need more than words. They need real commitment from their leaders to ensure that this is a lasting peace, that the violence has ended and the reconciliation process can begin.
“This conflict has disrupted lives and livelihoods across the country; families have been separated, homes and villages destroyed. CARE calls on all parties to the conflict to ensure this agreement is honored, so that South Sudan can start the long, difficult task of rebuilding.”
Ronald-Paul Veilleux, Country Director for IRC in South Sudan said:
“This is a first step to restoring safety, dignity and hope to South Sudanese women, children and men who have experienced horrific violence for nearly two years. A peaceful environment mean organizations like the IRC are able to deliver unencumbered humanitarian assistance to those most in need—something that has been challenging over the last 20 months.”
Perry Mansfield, National Director of World Vision South Sudan said:
“With this agreement, World Vision remains hopeful that that the children of South Sudan will now have a brighter future as they have borne the brunt of this conflict. We look forward to supporting their development and rebuilding the livelihoods of their families and communities.”
For more information, contact:
Oxfam in Juba: Alison Martin +211 (0) 955 955 957 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CARE in Juba: Sally Cooper +211 (0) 955 199 374 or email@example.com
IRC in Juba: Kimberly Bennett +211 (0) 955 268 434 or firstname.lastname@example.org
World Vision in Juba: Melany Markham +211 (0) 922 027 365 or Melany_Markham@wvi.org