|China Calls on All Parties in South Sudan Conflicts to Cease Hostilities|
On December 24, 2013, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming met with diplomatic envoys to China from member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) including Sudan and Kenya, focusing on the exchange of views on the current situation in South Sudan.
Zhang Ming said that China pays high attention to the current situation in South Sudan and is concerned by the conflicts in South Sudan. As South Sudan is a new state, its immediate priority is to concentrate on its national construction and development. The internal military conflicts in South Sudan have caused heavy losses to people's lives and property, and worsened its fragile economy. The continuous turmoil in South Sudan will affect South Sudan's neighboring countries including some IGAD member states and impact the overall peace and stability in Africa, which the international community including China does not want to see.
Zhang Ming stressed that as a sincere friend of the African people, China has always been actively maintaining peace and stability in Africa and supporting the efforts of the African people to resolve Africa's problems in an African way. China speaks highly of IGAD's sending of a mediation team to South Sudan, and hopes that the IGAD could strengthen efforts to promote peace, urge all parties in South Sudan conflicts to keep calm and restrained, and prompt them to initiate talks as soon as possible. China will promote dialogues for peace in its own way and is willing to strengthen its communication and coordination with the IGAD, the African Union (AU) and relevant parties in the international community to jointly push for the restoration of stability in South Sudan as soon as possible.
Zhang Ming said that as a friend and cooperation partner of the South Sudanese people, China calls on all parties in South Sudan conflicts to give priority to the national interests, people's wellbeing and regional peace, stability and development, keep calm and restrained, cease hostilities immediately, and start negotiations at an early date so as to resolve political differences, stop the crisis and restore national peace and stability through dialogues and consultation.
The IGAD was established in 1986 and has seven member states currently including Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan. In recent years, the IGAD has been active in mediating internal conflicts of its member states and has played an important role in the settlement of regional hot-spot issues such as the issues between Sudan and South Sudan and the Somalia issue.