Berhanu Kebede, chief of staff at Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), said that political factions in South Sudan had made progress in the implementation of the peace deal despite hurdles.
“We in Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission are optimistic that people in South Sudan will surmount these hurdles and ensure that the country get back on its feet again.
“This will consequently provide a peaceful country with a million women, and especially children who will continue to bear the greatest brunt of this conflict,’’ Kebede said.
He spoke during the official opening of a three-day workshop that aimed at updating South Sudan’s faith-based leaders on the content and progress of implementation of the revitalized agreement on the resolution of the conflict in the world’s youngest republic.
South Sudan has suffered from a civil war since December 2013, following a spat between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar.
The war left tens of thousands of civilians dead and over four million others displaced.
Kiir and Machar signed the revitalised peace deal that was midwifed by the Inter Governmental Authority on Development in September 2018.
The parties to the peace deal recently agreed to extend the pre-transitional period for another six months before forming the transitional unity government.
The workshop was primarily aimed at updating the religious leaders drawn from different denominations, on the peace deal and progress made in its implementation.
In addition, the workshop was to highlight the roles faith-based leaders could play in the implementation of the peace agreement.
While making his opening remarks, RJMEC Chief of Staff, Ambassador Berhanu Kebede had said: “In every society, religion advocates for love, which transcends race, class and nationality.
“This cardinal principle is critical to every peace process, especially in a country like South Sudan that is emerging from decades of conflict.
“All of you (religious leaders) enjoy a high moral ground and acceptance with the local and international communities.
“These positions that you hold enable you to shape attitudes and opinions of your members as they recognize and trust you,” he added.
He, therefore, urged the leaders to “continue to be a light in the lives of the millions of South Sudanese who are looking up to you for guidance and information on the peace process“.
Kebede said the peace monitoring body was optimistic that the people of South Sudan would surmount the aforementioned hurdles and ensure that the country stood on its feet again.