, NEW YORK, Sept 29 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday joined other heads of state and the UN boss Ban Ki-Moon in calling on leaders of South Sudan to stop leading their people on the path of war and instead choose peace.
President Kenyatta said President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar, owe it to their people to bring the war in the world’s youngest nation to an end.
He said the peace agreement signed recently by the two leaders will have no benefit if they do not stop the actual war on the ground.
The President also called for the peace process to be more inclusive so that no one is left behind in the journey to make South Sudan get back on the path of reconstruction and development.
“I call upon the people and the leaders of South Sudan to undertake the noble task of stopping the war and implement the permanent ceasefire and security arrangement as envisaged in the Peace Agreement,” said the President.
The President spoke when he addressed a high-level meeting on South Sudan, which was chaired by the United Nations Secretary General.
Ban-Kimoon called on President Kiir to take stronger initiative to ensure lasting peace is restored in his country.
“There is nothing you cannot overcome and I count on you and your brother (Mr Machar) to put your country to peace,” said the UN boss.
Ban Ki-Moon said it was ironical that the world’s youngest nation has plunged into a crisis not long after it gained its independence.
“I remember the jubilation that marked the celebration of independence of South Sudan which made me proud,” said Ban Ki-Moon. “I do not understand why South Sudan has fallen into chaos.”
On his part, President Kiir, who addressed the meeting through a live video link from Juba, said he was committed to implement the peace process to bring the conflict to an end.
“Don’t doubt my sincerity to peace. South Sudan does not need any more war,” said President Kiir in his address at the meeting organised by the United Nations Security Council.
He called on the international community to continue supporting South Sudan in resolving the conflict.
“One day South Sudan will be peaceful and prosperous. My government and I are committed to implement the peace agreement,” President Kiir said as he called on the international community to prevail on the rebel forces whom he accused of violations of the peace agreement.
He also called on the IGAD Plus Peace Initiative to widen the scope of the agreement to include more stakeholders in South Sudan’s stability.