The Citizen (Tanzania)
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Juba. An African Union peace mediator has challenged South Sudanese leaders to use various platforms to reform their fighters to work for peace.

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JMEC) chairman, Mr Festus Mogae, said in Juba on Tuesday that the unruly soldiers were further denting the image of the war-torn country.

Mr Mogae was appointed by the Inter-Governmental Authority and Development (Igad) head of states in 2015 to head JMEC as per a resolution which requires the peace monitoring agency to be led by a prominent African.

His remark came after multiple reports from the United Nations on continuous breakdown of ceasefire agreement by both the government and rebel fighters.

The former Botswana president underlined the severe humanitarian situation and persistent violence perpetrated by the warring factions as the greatest obstacles to the peace implementation. « Almost daily, we receive reports of violence from around the country, that seem to remind us of the enormity of our task and the very fragile nature of peace in the country, » he said.

« In our last meeting, our primary concern was the immediate restoration of the ceasefire agreement and I am dismayed to report no evidence of meaningful progress in that regard, » he added.

Mr Mogae revealed that the fighting in Equatoria was characterised by gross human rights violations by both the government, the rebels and other armed groups.

He said the South Sudan war had become a burden to the international community as well as the continent at large.

Earlier on, the East African Community warned that the conflict in the young nation could spark instability in the whole region.

Some countries such as Ethiopia and Sudan have already closed doors to the South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar after he declared a fresh war with President Salva Kiir after fighting broke out in July.

Dr Machar was denied entry by both Ethiopian and Sudanese authorities on Monday and was forced to return to South Africa where he went for medical treatment. (NMG)