Africa
China's engagement key to sustaining peace, stability in S. Sudan: experts
Last Updated: 2018-09-03 09:58 | Xinhua
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China's economic and diplomatic clout is required to sustain peace and stability in South Sudan, experts have said.

The experts, who spoke to Xinhua ahead of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit to be held in Beijing scheduled for Sept. 3-4, said Beijing's engagement in post-conflict recovery in the world's youngest nation is very critical.

James Okuk, professor of politics at the University of Juba, told Xinhua that the fact that Beijing's role in helping broker a final peace deal in the country shows that it remains a key player in sustaining peace efforts in the country.

He said FOCAC presents the best opportunity to further steer peace efforts in South Sudan, based on the fact that Sudanese president who mediated the peace talks under the auspices of the East African bloc, IGAD will also be present together with South Sudanese top leaders at the event.

He disclosed that China being a key investor in South Sudan's oil industry benefits from peace dividends and the proposed resumption of oil production in the youngest nation with support from Sudan.

"It is high time that South Sudan takes it seriously and presents well written projects in FOCAC. It is also important for President Kiir to set up a special department within the foreign ministry to deal with China issues," Okuk remarked.

He added that China's peacekeeping efforts in South Sudan have shown to the world the good international leadership from the Asian giant.

Okuk said that China can also help South Sudan develop mega infrastructure projects like highways, railways alongside administrative offices for the central government.

Jacob Chol, a Juba-based political analyst, said China is already one of South Sudan's major donors.

"Already China is providing development aid to South Sudan and that should continue because there is a lot of life saving support in South Sudan from China," Chol said.

Augustino Ting Mayai, the security analyst at the Sudd Institute, told Xinhua that South Sudan benefits from engagement with China on many fronts.

He said China is now playing a huge role in terms of international development and providing alternative development agenda to Africa citing the success of the Standard Gauge Railway project in Kenya.

Mayai said China can help in developing infrastructure in the country to boost development and security in South Sudan.

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