Vice President Jessica Alupo, has reiterated that Uganda’s commitment to the South Sudan peace process will continue as the country seeks to end years of conflict.
Alupo made the remarks while speaking at a meeting with President Salva Kiir at State House Juba over the weekend.
Alupo said they discussed the issues of bilateral and mutual cooperation between the two “brotherly countries”, asking God to bless the people and government of South Sudan.
The Vice President congratulated Kiir upon hosting the ecumenical peace pilgrimage that saw Pope Francis make a two-day visit; the first ever, at such a level.
The Pope’s visit is referenced back to April 2019, when he, alongside other religious leaders, including the Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury; and Rev. John Chalmers, the moderator of the Church of Scotland, hosted what was called a spiritual retreat at the Vatican in which leaders of different rival factions from South Sudan attended.
Alupo expressed Uganda’s gratitude for the invitation to meet with the Pope, who used the occasion to drum up peace efforts and called on warring factions to end the war.
Uganda is the guarantor of the South Sudan peace agreement that was signed in September 2018 between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, who is the country’s 1st Vice President.
South Sudan formed a unity government in 2020 promising to end fighting and hostilities between forces loyal to Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar.
Recently, President Museveni attended the first batch of unified forces of South Sudan, involving both the national army and the police services, where he called for national interests, and not politics of identity.
Museveni said there was a need to have lasting peace in order for South Sudan to develop.
“There is a need to focus on interests, not identity. Progressive forces to build the country towards sustainable development based on interests and not identity,”
In the meeting which was attended by the minister of Presidential Affairs of the Republic of South Sudan, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the Ambassador of Uganda to South Sudan, Brig Ronnie Balya and several other Government officials, Alupo and Kiir agreed to deepen the already existing bilateral ties between the two countries, with increased trade among others.