End of the year 2016 message, on behalf of Moustapha Soumaré, the Acting UNMISS SRSG and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
I would like to extend warm greetings to all the people of South Sudan as we enter this holiday season. As we approach the end of 2016, let us be reminded of the universal values of unity, equality and compassion, which bind us together as human beings – the spirit of Ubuntu (humanity). These values should always be far stronger than anything that divides us.
Sadly, our hopes for sustainable peace were not realized this year and prospects for an end to the conflict have been thwarted with a resurgence of violence in the capital and in many other areas of the country. This has resulted in terrible humanitarian and economic consequences for many South Sudanese. I call on all those engaged in conflict, be with organized forces, armed groups, militias, youth groups with arms and others, to stop all fighting and silence the guns immediately.
While there is no doubt that the fighting has cast a dark shadow over the implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement, we must never lose sight of the ultimate goal – a peaceful and prosperous future for the people of South Sudan. My colleagues and I serving with the United Nations stand ready to support South Sudan as it renews its commitment to the peace process and to help address its pressing humanitarian needs.
But we must be reminded at this crucial transition period, that working for peace lies not only with our leaders, but with each of us individually. Peace starts within each one of us. I encourage us all to come together to help shape a better future through dialogue and reconciliation at all levels of the South Sudan society.
On behalf of the entire UN Family in South Sudan, I wish all a happy holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).