A diplomat has reiterated his country’s committed to helping South Sudan recover from years of conflict and underdevelopment.
Andrew Stephenson says the United Kingdom will continue to invest in the education and health sectors in the country.
He is the UK’s Minister for Africa in the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development. Stevenson was appointed recently by the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson.
“It is the first time we have had Boris Johnson –a Prime Minister who has also been a foreign secretary, and he has said to me to come out and travel globally, and revitalize our links around the world,” Stephenson said.
While visiting South Sudan on Monday in his first foreign trip to Africa, Stephenson announced an extra £18 million funding for humanitarian assistance in South Sudan. He said the funds will assist an estimated 7 million people who are severely food insecure.
Mr. Stephenson also said the UK is committed to alleviating the suffering of those in conflict while ensuring girls remain in school in South Sudan.
Speaking to the press upon arrival in Juba, Stephenson said the UK will continue to support development as a means of achieving social justice for communities in the country.
“My first overseas visit as a minister is here to South Sudan, which I think underlines the importance of this country to the United Kingdom,” he asserted.
“We are a long-lasting partner for this country, we will not walk away, and we want to work with you for many years –going into the future,” Stephenson added.
Meanwhile, the South Sudan Civil Society Forum is appealing to the international community to offer their full support to the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.
According to the activists, the current peace deal is the only guarantee to stability, democracy and the rule of law in South Sudan.
Since 2018, the United States, United Kingdom and Norway –who have been the main donors for South Sudan – have been reluctant to fund the process, citing lack of proper accountability measures.
But in a statement issued late last month, Troika said it was ready to work with the reconstituted transitional government of national unity in November.
The Executive Director of Centre for Inclusive Governance, Peace and Justice said the current agreement should be wholly supported so that it meets the demands of the ordinary people.
Jackline Nasiwa spoke to Eye Radio on Monday during the launch of the 90 days countdown to the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity.
“We will continue to dialogue with the stakeholders and with partners…and the friends of South Sudan [because] there is no other peace we can call for. [This] peace is what South Sudan wants,” she said.
The Civil Society Forum said they will form a coalition with religious groups to persuade any armed opposition that has not signed the revitalized peace agreement to join the process.
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