Minister for Africa, Grant Shapps, spoke at the High Level Event on South Sudan during the UN General Assembly’s 70th meeting. He welcomed South Sudan’s leaders’ bold and irreversible decision to sign a peace agreement, calling on them to ensure this means South Sudan’s guns will be silenced for good.
Mr Shapps also highlighted the importance of accountability, reconciliation and healing in moving the country forward and welcomed the decision of the African Union to publish its Commission of Inquiry report on South Sudan. He looked forward to seeing progress on establishing the Hybrid Court and the Truth, Reconciliation and Healing Commission mandated by the peace agreement.
The UK’s commitment to peace and security in South Sudan was underlined by the Prime Minister’s announcement that up to 300 British troops would participate in the UN Mission in South Sudan. This comes on top of the £260 million already committed to the humanitarian response since the outbreak of the crisis in December 2013.
Speaking at the event Mr Shapps said:
I have one clear message for President Kiir and Riek Machar: You are responsible for implementing the agreement. Be bold. Respond to the people’s overwhelming plea for peace. Silence the guns for good.