President Kiir, Macky Sall promise ties, peace deal support

President Kiir, Macky Sall promise ties, peace deal support
President Macky Sall (left ) and President Salva Kiir (right ) at Juba International Airport. [Kitab Unango, The City Review]

Senegalese President, Macky Sall, jetted into South Sudan yesterday to push for the implementation of the pending areas of the 2018 revitalised peace agreement as the transitional period nears sunset. 

Sall, who is also the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), was received by President Salva Kiir at Juba International Airport on Monday afternoon. 

“I have come to support the peace process in South Sudan and to plea to you and First Vice President Dr Riek Machar to work together to bring peace,” he remarked when addressing the media after a brief meeting with President Kiir.

He added, “I have come here also as the African Union to help you build the peace.”

In a statement shared on the Facebook page, President Kiir hailed his counterpart for his Juba visit saying that the two countries—South Sudan and Senegal—will renew their ties.

‘‘We are so privileged to host you here today as you are the second High Profile Head of State across the Sahel Region to visit South Sudan after the visit of His Majesty the King of Morocco in 2017. Your Excellency’s visit is special in many ways given the similarities between the people of South Sudan and Senegalese people,’’ the President stated.

Kiir was nostalgic in his statement as he revisited the ancient ties bringing together Dakar and Juba, especially on the genealogical history of the Senegalese and the South Sudanese. 

‘‘One look at the Senegalese and the South Sudanese people reveals a deep connection. The great scholar, Cheikh Anta Diop, explains this connection by documenting the linguistic similarities between the Senegalese and other Africans and their common roots in the Nile during ancient Kush,’’ Kiir stated.

‘‘The bilateral relationship established now between our two countries resurrects these ties and invites us to deepen cultural and economic exchange and political cooperation. In this way, we can advance African integration between these two countries, one firmly centred in North and East Africa and the other firmly centred in West Africa.’’

Obstacles within

South Sudan currently experiences myriad challenges stemming from peace implementation. They include subnational conflict, and recent confusion over the dredging Naam River and Jonglei Canal resumption.

Parties to the peace deal have yet to implement critical tasks provided for by the revitalised peace deal including security arrangements, and a permanent constitution-making process, among others.

According to an activist, Mr Sall’s visit to Juba could mean a lot in stirring parties to the revitalised peace agreement to move a step forward in the implementation of, especially, the security arrangements critical to the overall peace process in South Sudan. 

The Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO), Edmund Yakani, called on Mr Sall to exert maximum effort on parties to demonstrate political will in implementing the remaining peace provisions. 

 “We are aware that the African Union has a big role to play in helping South Sudanese part to transform the current situation we are into a politically stable situation through implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan,” said Yakani. 

Mr Sall also told the media that his visit, which also marked his first arrival in South Sudan aimed at cementing bilateral relations between Senegal and South Sudan. 

It is also important to note that Senegal has a vast experience in water resource management and through its president could benefit the world’s biggest wetland country South Sudan facing challenges in mitigating floods and the devastating impact on the population.