Germany urges inclusion of South Sudan opposition in dialogue
The German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday urged President Salva Kiir to involve the armed opposition in the ongoing national dialogue process launched last year to help end more than four years of violence.
Sigmar told journalists in Juba after he held talks with South Sudanese leaders that the two warring sides need to dialogue rather than pursue endless military solution to the violence.
"Still there is no alternative to this peace process because neither of the two sides in this conflict can win the conflict militarily. And therefore we support the vision of the President to launch the national dialogue," he revealed.
Sigmar added that the international community is still supporting the youngest nation with humanitarian support to overcome the humanitarian suffering that has left about 6 million people in dire need of food assistance.
"It's a good thing that the international community and also the neighboring countries like Uganda support the peace process. However, the peace process can only be successful when it comes from South Sudan itself," Sigmar disclosed.
"Yesterday (Wednesday) in Uganda, we had opportunity to see how many refugees come to Uganda from South Sudan because they do not see any future prospect for the security of their families in South Sudan," he added.
Sigmar also commended President Kiir's pardoning of political prisoners as progress toward political reconciliation.
German has so far contributed humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country totaling about 90 million Euros since outbreak of conflict in December 2013.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between President Kiir and his former deputy Machar led to fighting that pitted mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar's Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing Machar to flee into exile.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.