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U.S. officials expected in South Sudan to assess dialogue process

Monday, 20th February 2017
February 20, 2017 (JUBA) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration will dispatch a delegation to Juba this week to assess ways to end the war and bring peace in the troubled east African nation, South Sudanese officials disclosed.

The U.S. officials will meet key government officials, including President Salva Kiir to assess for themselves and to understand the circumstances under which the national dialogue was declared and whether it is inclusive and restorative.

A top level South Sudanese diplomat told Sudan Tribune Monday that the purpose the visit is to see how best they could work with the government to support the national dialogue initiated President Salva Kiir in December 2016.

“The new US administration is for peace, they are not for regime change as it is being propagated by some quarters of our society," said a diplomat who requested anonymity.

"The new administration is for peace and they believe that the only way to resolve political differences is not through violence but through peaceful dialogue like what President Salva Kiir has done,”. he further said.

The three-member delegation would arrive Thursday in South Sudanese capital, Juba.

The South Sudanese diplomat welcomed the visit saying it demonstrate the willingness of the new administration of the United States towards South Sudan.

On 14 December 2016, President Kiir called to hold an inclusive national dialogue process. In a speech before the national legislative assembly in Juba he said that the political process led by eminent statesmen that are "trusted, genuine and credible".

However, on 20 December he appointed a 30-member committee known for their support to his government. On the other hand, observers pointed that to the absence of the SPLM-IO factions or other opposition groups.

Opposition groups point to the need for a genuine peace before to engage in the proposed political process. Others, contested that the process be chaired by the president himself and called to hold it outside the country to allow the participation of all the armed groups.