AU targets traditional leaders’ involvement to restore peace in South Sudan

An African Union team charged with overseeing the implementation of the South Sudan peace agreement says it is focusing on the role of traditional leaders to ensure lasting harmony in the troubled country.

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) said that traditional leaders can improve the reconciliatory efforts among warring communities.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his then deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against his government.

Machar refuted the claims but went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

A peace deal was signed last year, paving way for the formation of a unity government with Machar as the first vice president.

In July however, forces loyal to the two leaders clashed in Juba, forcing Machar to flee the capital and was replaced with Taban Deng Gai as first vice president.

The UN is worried that if an intervention is not carried out soon, the country could descent into a genocide.

President Kiir has however given assurances that he is keen to ensure the world’s youngest nation finds lasting peace.

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