23 May 2014 – The top United Nations official in South Sudan has met with rebel leader David Yau Yau to discuss peace efforts in Greater Pibor County, Jonglei state, which was once the epicentre of instability in the country.
During a meeting yesterday, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Hilde Johnson, commended Mr. Yau Yau, the leader of the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army (SSDM/A) for his role in facilitating an end to violence in the area.
The rebel group signed a peace agreement with the Government of South Sudan on 9 May in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which “will lay the foundation of a durable peace for all the people and communities of Pibor and surrounding counties,” she said.
Ms. Johnson, who is also the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (UNMISS), which among its traditional responsibilities is protecting tens of thousands of civilians, offered support to implement the agreement.
According to a statement from the Mission, David Yau Yau stressed that the agreement must be implemented as soon as possible so that people in the Greater Pibor can start to build trust and stability among their neighbours, and enjoy daily life without fighting.
Ms. Johnson reiterated her hope that the Government and the rebel group, SPLA/In Opposition, will follow suit and resolve their differences peacefully and end the country’s wider conflict.
The Pibor agreement came as a broader accord was signed on 9 May, also in the Ethiopian capital, by South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, and former Vice President Riek Machar, whose supporters have waged a five-month battle that has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians and led to gross human rights violations by both sides.