South Sudan President Salva Kiir, is pleading with the international community to stop ignoring his government, and open avenues for cooperation.
In his New Year’s message, Kiir said the Transitional Government of National Unity–formed in February 2020 with his rival Riek Machar–recognizes the value of partnership with international organizations and donors in bringing sustainable development to the war-torn country.
Kiir says efforts by his government to cultivate the country from the rubble of war have been frustrated by the diplomatic blackout.
“For the last seven years of conflict, we have heard statements from our international partners that have willfully ignored South Sudanese leaders, while pledging to work with our people,” Kiir said.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in May last year adopted a resolution to extend an arms embargo on South Sudan and a travel ban and financial sanctions for targeted individuals.
Kiir said his government has now been reduced to approving humanitarian access, but left out on critical issues.
“We have only been asked to fulfill our obligations in approving humanitarian access, but these obligations demanded from us seem to have no corresponding rights. The South Sudanese leadership in this conception has obligations to approve things, but has no rights to be treated as a genuine partner.”
He said the full implementation of the holding unity government and a ceasefire require genuine international cooperation, but the blackout has partly frustrated the process.
However, Kiir said parties have now reached a substantive agreement on outstanding issues despite various setbacks, and urged stakeholders to accelerate the pace of the implementation of the remaining chapters of the agreement. He noted that the pact is the framework for returning the country to permanent stability and there is no choice other than to implement it faithfully.
“To our partners, there is more to be achieved in our collaborative work by mutual recognition than in a language that undermines,” Kiir admonished.