Source: News Bharati English13 Jul 2016 10:45:46
Juba, July 13: Amid fresh outbreak of violence that killed hundreds of people in South Sudan, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday appealed for peace and said that Nigeria would continue to fulfill its financial obligations to the AU to ensure peace, stability and security on the continent. Buhari made the appeal when he received the AU Envoy on the Peace Fund, Donald Kaberuka, at the presidential villa, Abuja, a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said.
The latest round of violence began in the capital, Juba, last week, as the world's newest nation prepared to mark five years of independence from Sudan. A ceasefire appears to be holding in South Sudan's capital, Juba, after four days of heavy fighting between rival forces left more than 270 people dead. President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir and his rival, Vice-President Riek Machar, announced a ceasefire which came into force on Monday.
Heavy fighting involving tanks and helicopters raged in the country on Monday between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the former rebel leader who became vice president as part of a deal that ended a two-year civil war, news agency All Africa reported reported.
According to media agencies, the violence intensified on Monday where a witness saw two helicopters overhead firing in the direction of Machar's headquarters, while residents reported tanks on the street. Buhari said what was happening in South Sudan was extremely disturbing and a "very dicey situation".
He said the AU leadership had a crucial role in stabilising the country and other African countries on the brink. "What we can do urgently to stabilise South Sudan is very important as African leaders meet in Kigali, Rwanda this month and later in September at the UN," Buhari stated.
Buhari assured the AU envoy that Nigeria would also play a central role in seeking the EU and the UN to strengthen their support for crisis-prone African countries despite competing priorities on security and the economic downturn in the country, news agency All Africa reported. According to Buhari, supporting peace operations, under the auspices of the AU in several countries affected by conflict remains a foreign policy priority for his administration.