Students pump water at the Chinese Friendship Secondary School in Juba, capital of SouthSudan, Aug. 17, 2016. The School accommodates about 2,297 students. (Xinhua/Gale Julius)
ADDIS ABABA, March 27 (Xinhua) -- A South Sudanese diplomat has hailed China's assistance to his country's peace process and urged China to boost its positive role in South Sudan.
James Morgan, South Sudan ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, said China has been playing a positive role over the years in helping South Sudan.
"China has a good policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of nations. China plays a positive role in South Sudan through its peacekeepers which have been constructing bridges and schools in addition to their normal peacekeeping roles," Morgan told Xinhua in an interview.
"China is already a key development partner of South Sudan. With South Sudan entering a period of relative peace after the signing of the September 2018 peace agreement, I expect China will assist us in the construction of roads, bridges and damaged oil pipelines," Morgan said.
China has sent several groups of peacekeeping troops and police to South Sudan under the UN mandate since the outbreak of the civil strife in the east African nation.
Chinese peacekeepers in South Sudan have been engaged in protecting refugee camps, repairing broken infrastructures and facilitating local peace initiatives.
Chinese peacekeeper Yu Peijie (R) sings songs with local children in Juba, South Sudan, on April 30, 2018. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)
The South Sudanese diplomat called on other countries to also actively support the outcomes of the September 2018 peace agreement.
"The peace in South Sudan is real," he said. "I call on all international partners to help the people and the government of South Sudan in their efforts to achieve the full implementation of the peace agreement."
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, after a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to a split in the army, leaving soldiers to fight alongside ethnic lines.
The civil war is estimated to have killed tens of thousands of South Sudanese and displaced millions of others.
In September 2018, the South Sudanese government and the armed factions signed a peace deal in Ethiopia after five years of fighting.
The peace deal seems to be largely holding, despite occasional minor violations by armed factions.