The European Union has said the signature of the South Sudan peace agreement marks an important step forward.
According to the EU, “it offers a unique opportunity for this war-torn country to move towards a future of stability and of responsible government in the interests of its citizens”.
A statement to the effect from EU reads: “The EU welcomes the signature and the stated commitment of the parties to engage in a political process, which is key to achieving reconciliation and lasting peace.
“The agreement needs to be implemented in a timely, full, effective and inclusive way, involving all segments of society, including women as important agents of change. A sound transitional process will be essential to rebuild the country. The EU urges all parties to respect the ceasefire and refrain from all actions which contradict the letter and spirit of the agreement.
“We are concerned by the recent announcement by the government of its intention to increase the number of federal states in the country as well as the reluctance of the opposition to commit to the implementation of the security arrangements and the recent outbreaks of fighting in Unity State.
“We recall the urgent necessity for all South Sudanese stakeholders to recommit to the implementation of the agreement. Spoilers on all sides undermining the agreement will be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. “The EU salutes the efforts of international and regional actors, in particular the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU), which were key to reaching this deal.