A decade after gaining independence from Sudan, the country remains “on the path of nation-building” and strives to implement a revitalized peace accord in 2018 that led to the formation of a government unit last year.
“I want to assure our friends and partners that we are determined never to return to war,” said Ms. De Mabior.
“We must replace the destruction of war with the productive use of our vast natural resources and national assets for the good of our people. “
Prioritize nation building
The Vice President recalled that when South Sudan became independent, the international community pledged to strengthen nation-building capacities, establishing a United Nations mission in the country, MINUSS, to support this process.
“However, after the outbreak of war, this vision was abandoned and priority was given to the protection of civilians and the provision of humanitarian assistance. As a result, state capacity building support has ended, ”she said.
Ms. De Mabior stressed that it is essential to support a state’s ability to govern responsibly and effectively. We must also guard against what she called “the unintended consequences of dependence on humanitarian aid”.
In view of the improvement in peace and security, she said now is the time to move from emergency to sustainable development.
“It is a painful and shameful situation for a country with vast fertile land to be considered poor,” she added.
“We must ensure peace and security in the country and redouble our efforts to support our populations who wish to return and return to their regions of origin, so that they participate fully in nation-building and help strengthen food security in the country. “
Support young people and women
South Sudan is also “a young country”, and the vice president called for continued efforts to develop the skills of its young people and women “to provide an alternative to resuming arms and destructive behavior. “.
Encouraging developments include the joint efforts of national security forces and their MINUSS counterparts to promote rural peace and security, while the government prepares to unveil a national youth service program.
“To realize the vision of our liberation struggle, we must use our oil revenues to fuel economic growth by investing in agriculture,” she said.
“We will invest in infrastructure to connect our rural communities to markets. We need the public and private sectors, including foreign investors, to come together to turn South Sudan’s potential wealth into reality.
“Half empty” glass
Ms. De Mabior reported on progress in the implementation of certain aspects of the revitalized Peace Agreement, in particular in the creation of state and national bodies and public finance management reforms.
However, “the glass remains half empty” in implementing a permanent ceasefire and transitional security arrangements, she said, noting the urgency of a unified army.
“Security sector reform is the most difficult part of the Accord as it contains elements at the center of violent conflicts in the country,” she said, calling for continued dialogue.
“Building lasting peace requires inclusion, collective investment, determination, diligence and patience. “
Meanwhile, relations with Sudan have also improved, although issues remain over the oil-rich Abyei border area.
Ms De Mabior underlined that her country was determined to learn from the lessons of the past.
“We must ensure that the revitalized Peace Agreement succeeds, and we can only do so with the support of our regional and international partners. Simply put, South Sudan wants and is ready to turn a new leaf, ”she said.
Link to the speech here
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