South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has promised a new dawn of peace and stability in 2018.
Presidents Kiir, in a Christmas Day address at the St Theresa Cathedral in Juba, said his government’s top priority was to restore peace and unity among all South Sudanese communities.
“We must recommit ourselves to the course of peace, and extend a hand of unity and friendship across all the divides in the country,” he said.
He said the recent signing of the cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa was a sign of ending the violence countrywide.
President Kiir reiterated that he had issued orders for the immediate implementation of the ceasefire to guarantee the safety of civilians and humanitarian services in the war-torn country.
He added that his government was willing to continue negotiating with the opposition factions in good faith to realise peace.
President Kiir further urged the other stakeholders to also negotiate in similar good faith.
“I trust that our partners are also negotiating in the same good faith for the benefit of all citizens in South Sudan.
“The sooner we can come to the final and meaningful agreement, the sooner we can reenergise the implementation process and get South Sudan back on the path of prosperity,” he said.
President Kiir further expressed hope that the revitalisation forum, which ended in Addis Ababa recently, would pave the way for the reconstruction of South Sudan and for the restoration of the economy.
South Sudan attained independence in 2011, but it has had internal wars for four years.
More than 100,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict, according to the International Crisis Group.
More than two million South Sudanese have become refugees, while another one million people remain internally displaced, according to the UN.