President Uhuru Kenyatta has applauded the parties to the South Sudan conflict for signing an agreement on the outstanding issues on governance and security geared towards restoring peace in Africa’s youngest nation.
Speaking when he witnessed the historic signing of the agreement in Khartoum, Sudan on Sunday evening, President Kenyatta assured of Kenya’s full support to South Sudan.
“Today, I offer you the promise of the Kenyan People. As we have done, we shall continue to walk with you from this moment of great expectation to the full implementation of a Revitalized Agreement,” President Kenyatta said.
The agreement was signed collectively by President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar as well as all political parties in South Sudan, signaling their desire to end the conflict that has caused a lot of suffering and displacement of people.
The agreement outlines guidelines on power sharing and governance, including settling boundary disputes which will be guided by a Boundary Commission and provides for an avenue for the people of South Sudan to participate in a referendum if need be to settle those disputes.
“No matter how much the world invests in South Sudan, it is incumbent on the people of South Sudan to find lasting peace for their country,” President Kenyatta said.
The historic signing ceremony held at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum was also witnessed by Presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Ismael Omar Guelleh (Djobouti) and host Omar al-Bashir as well as Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre. Rwanda was represented by Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.
Uhuru appealed to the political leadership in South Sudan to secure the future of the region by commencing implementation of the Agreement.
“Informed by our shared and common experiences and grounded in a long history of solidarity between Kenya and South Sudan, I urge each and every leader to leverage the diversity of South Sudan and harness it to build strong and responsible structures that respond effectively to the needs of the people,” President Kenyatta said.
The Kenyan leader paid tribute to President al-Bashir for hosting the current phase of the peace process that has yielded promising results for South Sudan and the region.
Kenya has been a key participant amongst other IGAD states in the process of bringing peace and stability in South Sudan driven by the belief that peace and stability in the young nation heralds prosperity for the whole region.