By Henry MULINDWA
Vice President Jessica Alupo has said that Uganda’s efforts to the S.Sudan peace process will continue as the country seeks to end years of conflict.
The Vice President was speaking at a meeting with President Salva Kiir at State House Juba last evening.
She congratulated President Kiir upon hosting the ecumenical peace pilgrimage that saw Pope Francis make a three day visit; the first ever, for Africa’s youngest nation.
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 S.Sudan attended.
Alupo expressed Uganda’s gratitude for the invitation to meet with the Pope, who used the occassion 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 Dr. 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 the S.Sudan, involving both the national army and the police services, where he called for national interests, and not politics of identity.
The meeting between the two leaders agreed to deepen the already existing bilateral ties between the two countries, with increased trade, among others.
In attendance were the Minister of Presidential Affairs of the Republic of S.Sudan-Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the Ambassador of Uganda to S.Sudan-Brig Ronnie Balya and several other Government officials.