Marjan Schippers, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to South Sudan. (Photo: Radio Tamazuj)

International Community concerned about communal violence in South Sudan

The International Partners and Friends of South Sudan (IPF) on Thursday expressed concern over the flare-up of violence and the delay in passing the new national budget.

Speaking during a Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) meeting in Juba, Marjan Schippers, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to South Sudan, decried the impact of communal violence in many parts of the country that has uprooted and displaced many people from their homes.

She called for the disarmament of civilians and called on organized forces to ensure neutrality.

“The recurrence of communal violence in many parts of the country remains a serious concern and is a real threat to the peace agreement. Many people have been routed from their villages and livelihoods disrupted by localized violence,” she said. “The IPF urges the transitional government to consider the disarmament of civilians carrying arms and to ensure that the organized forces do not take sides in any localized violence.”

According to Amb. Schippers, the IPF has been following the country’s deteriorating economy and observed that the people of South Sudan, particularly women and youth, demonstrate tremendous resilience in the face of inflation, soaring cost of living, and increasing uncertainty in what the future holds.

She called on the government to expedite the passing of the 2024/25 Fiscal Year Budget and urged the authorities to ensure accountability and transparency.

“We understand that the Fiscal year 2023/24 ends this month yet next year`s budget is not in place. We urge the transitional government to speed up the budget process for the 2024/25 fiscal year. At the same time underlining the importance of implementing transparent finance management as agreed to in the R-ARCSS,” she stated. “We welcome the transitional government`s intention to diversify the country`s economy and in this light, the IPF applauds the signing of the WASH compact by the president to provide the people of South Sudan with clean drinking water and sanitation.”

“This is not only a human right but also a basic investment in productivity in the health of the South Sudanese people,” Schippers added.

The envoy said several IPF members are donors in the WASH sector in South Sudan and as part of the donor community, they urge the government to implement the provision of the revitalized agreement on natural resource management, only then diversification in agriculture and ultimately tourism, can lead to sustainable development.