Addressing the United Nations General Assembly’s high-level debate, the First Vice-President of South Sudan called for incentivising peace and stability by shifting the focus to development and long-term projects.
“We cannot continue to clean the floor while the tap is open. The old paradigm that humanitarian intervention is first and development later is not a viable policy in the case of South Sudan,” Taban Deng Gai told the world body in New York.
He commended the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the African Union and international partners to shun and isolate political actors that sought power through violence.
“Nonetheless, we do not wish to delude ourselves that peace, unity and development can be achieved overnight,” he said, adding that “the realization of peace takes time.”
He said South Sudan would redouble its efforts to improve access for humanitarian access, but hopes that the international community would recalibrate its development and humanitarian support.
Mr. Deng also noted the need for policies to be “South Sudanese-led’ and “home grown” if they are to achieve sustainable results.
The ultimate goal, Mr. Deng said, is “to give an opportunity for peace to all South Sudanese which will enable them to choose their own leaders through free, fair and credible elections.”
He added that the country has witnessed refugees and internally displaced persons gradually voluntarily returning to their villages, and the National Dialogue Initiative announced by President Salva Kiir is making progress.