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ADDIS ABABA - 17 May 2018

Mogae says Addis talks provide best opportunity to end catastrophe

File photo: Festus Mogae
File photo: Festus Mogae

The High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) provides best and timely opportunity to end the “catastrophe that befell the people of South Sudan,” the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), has said.

Speaking during the opening of the peace talks in Addis Ababa, Festus Mogae said, “You are at a critical juncture. This forum (HLRF) provides the best and timely opportunity for you all, to collectively decide and bring the catastrophe that has befallen your people to an end.”

“There comes a time in life, where nothing else should matter more, than to do what is right. I believe the time is now, for all patriots of South Sudan, to rise to the occasion,” he said.

“Enough is enough. Let us all find in our hearts a place to forgive each other, accommodate one another and rekindle the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood and take another historic step to rebuild South Sudan,” he added.

Mogae, said in his address, about 4.2 million of South Sudanese people remain displaced, 2.4 million of whom are in neighbouring countries as refugees. 

“The resumption of the conflict (in South Sudan) has left immeasurable human costs, which continue to rise. The economy is devastated and there is a deepening sense of anxiety and insecurity among large parts of your society. Your people are fast losing hope.”

He said an estimated 7 million South Sudanese are currently in need of humanitarian assistance with at least 6.3 million severely food insecure.

The peace monitor expressed concern that the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA), signed on December 21, 2017, “has been repeatedly violated with impunity.” 

“This is regrettable and only serves to undermine our confidence on how seriously some parties are taking this noble process.”