South Sudan welcomes China's peace mediator role: ambassador
ADDIS ABABA, May 27 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan welcomes China's role as a mediator in peace talks to end the civil war, a South Sudanese diplomat said Sunday.
Speaking to Xinhua, James Morgan, South Sudan Ambassador to Ethiopia and the AU, said an enhanced Chinese role in the peace process can encourage South Sudanese warring parties to achieve peace.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, after a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to split in the army, leaving soldiers to fight alongside ethnic lines.
The civil war is estimated to have killed tens of thousands of South Sudanese and displaced millions.
"China is urging everybody to arrive at peace without sanctioning anybody. China doesn't take sides in the South Sudan civil war and Chinese peacekeepers' role in South Sudan has been positive," said Morgan.
He also pointed to China's stance that Africa's problem should be solved by Africans. "China's role in South Sudan peace talks is to make sure peace and stability returns to the country that satisfies all South Sudanese parties."
China has sent several groups of peacekeeping troops and police to South Sudan under the UN mandate since the outbreak of the civil strife in the East African nation.
Chinese peacekeepers in South Sudan have been engaged in protecting refugee camps, repairing broken infrastructures and facilitating local peace initiatives.