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African Union and UN work together on South Sudan peace: official 

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council are determined to work hand-in-hand on South Sudan peace, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui has said.

The AU Commissioner told reporters Tuesday in Addis Ababa that the UNSC delegation briefed the pan-African bloc about the delegation’s recent visit to South Sudan and their discussions with the country’s leadership.

A joint communique, which was issued at the end of a meeting between President Salva Kiir and the Security Council delegation on Sunday, says the UNSC and the South Sudanese government have agreed to work in a fresh spirit of cooperation to advance the interests of the South Sudanese people, particularly their aspirations for justice, liberty and prosperity, according to the United Nations.

Chergui reiterated that South Sudan’s government has accepted the deployment of a regional protection force in the country.

He also stated that the AU Peace and Security Council and the UNSC delegation have deliberated on ways of getting the South Sudan peace process back on track.

“We have developed real partnership and cooperation with the UN Security Council that is why they visited us again this year after they went to South Sudan,” he said.

Chergui noted that the UNSC and the AU Peace and Security Council are determined to work hand-in-hand with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the South Sudanese people to achieve peace in that country.

“It was a good moment also in close session to go in details how we can get back the (South Sudan) peace process on track,” said the Commissioner.

Asked if the deployment of the regional force would facilitate the reinstatement of the opposition leader, Riek Machar, the Commissioner responded saying, “This stage, the government has accepted the regional force; and hopefully that when all the conditions are met for that, the peace process will go back on track. And it applies that all those who signed the agreement will deliver, including SPLM-in opposition.”

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