China / Government

China confirms contact with South Sudan opposition

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-23 19:44

BEIJING - A delegation from South Sudan's opposition has visited China at the invitation of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, a spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

The delegation, headed by Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of South Sudan, met with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming on Monday, Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said at a regular news briefing.

Both sides exchanged views on peacefully resolving the current conflict in South Sudan. China stressed its fair and objective stance, calling on both sides to implement the ceasefire agreement and peaceful settlement of differences, she said.

China supports regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to play a major role in mediation and maintain peace and stability of South Sudan and the region, Hua said.

"China is willing to work more towards an early, comprehensive and proper settlement of the South Sudan conflict and will help its people to overcome the hard times," the spokeswoman said.

Mathok spoke highly of China's stance, thanked China's great contribution to promoting peace and development and added that South Sudan opposition is willing to resolve the current crisis through peaceful talks, according to Hua.

A political dispute broke out in the world's youngest nation between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar, who was removed from office in July of 2013 and later accused of attempting a coup.

The tensions escalated on Dec. 15, 2013 into a full-scale conflict between forces loyal to either side, displacing 1.5 million people from their homes. Despite truce deals in January and May, clashes continue to take place.

South Sudan has experienced several bouts of violence in recent weeks. The latest clashes came as the two rival sides fell short of reaching a power-sharing deal by Aug. 10, in talks in Ethiopia facilitated by IGAD.

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