South Sudan on Saturday marked five years of peace as it appealed to Kenya to push for full implementation of the deal that ended 21 years of war.
South Sudan Head of Mission to Kenya John Andruga Duku said the celebrations were symbolic and that a grand one to be attended by Heads of State and Governments was slated for January 19 in Yambio Town.
Addressing journalists in Nairobi, Mr Duku said Kenya which is the chair of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development sub-committee on Sudan to ensure the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was fully implemented to prevent a return to war.
It is benchmark
“This (anniversary) is an important occasion. It is benchmark in implementation of the CPA as it is only a year before the end of interim period. We appeal to Igad to assume its leadership role,” Mr Duku said.
The official accused Igad of failing to hold evaluation meetings of the CPA after being vetoed by the Khartoum government, resulting to problems the process was currently facing.
Sudan is expected to hold its first democratic elections in 25 years in April to be followed by a referendum in January 2011 to decide on whether south Sudan should become an independent country.
Mr Duku said south Sudan had achieved a lot in the political, economic and cultural fields since the CPA was signed.
It now enjoys a road network linking it neighbouring countries.
Internal roads connecting its 10 states have further been opened and thus boosting trade.
“The government has further defused inter-communal conflicts by integrating armed groups into government,” Mr Duku said.
Juba, the capital of southern Sudan which used to be a dead town is now as vibrant “and if you have money you can get what you want,” he said.
Mr Duku however said governance institutions including police and judiciary need to be supported and strengthened for faster delivery of justice.
South Sudan has however been experiencing an up and down relationship with the north, raising fears of a return to war.
The Salva Kiir led government has accused President Omar Bashir’s National Congress Party of rigging the national census results and registration of voters.
The south is also unhappy with a recently passed national security law it says is aimed at cracking down on political opponents and gagging the media ahead of April polls and referendum.
A number of issues including implementation of International court ruling on Abyei border are also yet to effected.
Yesterday, Mr Duku said the boundaries between the oil-rich south and the north need to be clearly delineated before the referendum to avoid sparking chaos.