South Su­dan seeks Nige­ria’s help on con­flict

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ab­dul­la­teef Salau

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.

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