South Sudan seeks Nigeria’s help on conflict
The government of South Sudan has appealed for Nigeria’s assistance in restoring peace in the country.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, the country’s Charge d’ Affairs in Nigeria, Ambassador Riek Puok Riek, said South Sudan believed that Nigeria had the ability to bring about peace in his country, having achieved similar feats in several other African nations.
The appeal came in the wake of violence in the country’s capital, Juba, last week. Gun battles broke out between troops backing President Salva Kiir and his rival, Vice President Riek Machar, imperilling an 11-month peace deal.
More than 200 people have been killed in street battles in Juba since fighting erupted on Thursday, and thousands of others have fled for safety to United Nations compounds.
While reiterating that peace had returned to the country, the envoy urged Nigerians residing in South Sudan who are planning to leave to remain calm.
“Today, businesses have reopened, people are going back to their normal duties and all government institutions are functioning. The international airport is reopened and flights have resumed”, he said.
Riek also pleaded with the United Nations Security Council to halt the move to send troops to South Sudan, stressing that the country currently has over 12,000 UN peacekeepers, wellarmed and capable.
The move, he said, would be counterproductive and could lead to over militarization of the country.
Also, the South Sudan government has urged the UN Security Council to drop the imposition of arms embargo, which it said, would weaken the national army as armed groups and militia will take advantage by creating havoc.