China pledges continued support to South Sudan's peace process
JUBA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to support South Sudan's quest for lasting peace and stability, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan Hua Ning said Saturday.
Hua told state-owned South Sudan Broadcasting Cooperation (SSBC) that Beijing would stand with the people and government towards realization stability in the conflict-torn east African country.
"China's position is very clear and consistent, we have been very supportive of the peace process in South Sudan, and we are thinking about how we can support any kind of assistance for the citizens as people are now wishing for peace," Hua said.
The Chinese envoy on Friday met President Salva Kiir's security advisor Tut Gatluak in Juba to discuss the implementation of the September 2018 peace deal.
"As friends and brothers of the South Sudanese people, the Chinese government and people will stand firmly with South Sudan," the Chinese ambassador added.
South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.
The UN estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.
A peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in the capital, Juba in July 2016.
Under the 2018 peace deal, opposition leader Riek Machar, along with four others will once again be reinstated as Kiir's deputy.
But there is growing skepticism over delays implementation of the fragile peace agreement amid calls to delay formation of the unity government by May 12.
Parties to the peace pact are behind schedule and there are concerns that the new government may not take effect as the parties have failed to implement key provisions of the accord.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African regional bloc, this week invited Kiir and Machar to Ethiopia in an effort to address the ongoing stalemate.