A senior South Sudanese official on Wednesday lauded China’s constructive engagement approach to bringing lasting peace to the war-torn country.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mawien Makol told Xinhua in Juba that China was playing an active and constructive role in peace making by engaging the leadership and supporting the national dialogue initiated in December last year by President Salva Kiir.
“The Chinese government is really playing a very great role in national dialogue and we are happy with this effort as a government,” Makol revealed.
He added that they expect China to help the oil-rich country to recover from the more than three years of conflict with development assistance and reconstruction.
“If peace comes to South Sudan, the Chinese will help us with diversification of our economy. They are working to make sure that we recover from the mistakes of 2013,” he disclosed.
“We see it from the bottom of the heart that China wants us to recover,” he added.
Makol added that besides China helping to push with peace process and development, it has not used threats of sanctions as solution to ending the violence in the country.
“China has not sanctioned us and sanctions will not help,” he said.
A recent report by the International Crisis Group lauded China’s evolving constructive engagement approach to the South Sudan crisis in seeking solution to the violence that has threatened regional security and caused the highest refugee influx across in East Africa.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between President Kiir and his former deputy Machar led to fighting that pitted mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing the rebel leader Machar to flee into exile.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions.