President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja stressed the need for stronger commitment to the implementation of the peace process in South Sudan.
The president made the call when he received the Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan, Mr Paul Malong Akaro, at the State House.
In a statement signed by the President’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari assured that the Federal Government would remain steadfast in following up to ensure that the country regains stability.
The president said delay in implementing the peace accord had affected the development of the country in spite of the lofty potentials for growth.
“I was a little disappointed with the subsequent developments in your country.
“I was hoping that we can move forward and develop the great potentials of your country after the peace accord.
“The African Union will continue to hold your leaders to account in implementing the peace process. And the leaders should be able to accommodate one another for the good of your people,’’ he added.
Buhari told the ambassador that the peace process would be most effective when accepted and implemented by leaders from within the country, without external interventions.
In his remarks, Akaro said the government of national unity in South Sudan was still committed to the peace process in the country.
“We know that the only way we can achieve stability and development is to implement the peace process. We are grateful for your support,’’ he said.
South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, is currently faced with man-made humanitarian crisis occasioned political infighting by factions within Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the ruling political party that originally led the way for independence.
In December 2013, political infighting erupted into violence in the streets of the capital, Juba, after South Sudan’s president accused his vice president of an attempted coup.
The infighting between the two factions of government forces had led to the replacement of the first Vice-President Riek Machar with General Taban Deng Gai, by President Salva Kiir.
Kiir allegedly accused Machar of absconding from the country.
However, Machar was quoted as describing his replacement as illegal, saying “I’m still the first vice president of the republic of South Sudan.
“It has no basis because the peace agreement does not give him the powers to appoint a first vice president under the current circumstances.’’
Meanwhile, the president also received the Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Mr Malainine Sadik-Bachir.
He said: “Nigeria will continue to support the country as it strives to realise its goals of development.
“You can be assured that Nigeria will remain steadfast in her support for Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. We will continue to do our best for you.’’