President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said Wednesday in Abuja that having worked very hard with others to broker the agreements which resulted in the independence of South Sudan, Nigeria will continue to do its best to ensure that the new country achieves peaceful and friendly relations with its neighbours, especially Sudan, so that it can focus on socio-economic development to meet the aspirations of its people.
Speaking after receiving a special message from President Salva Kiir Mayerdit of South Sudan, President Jonathan said that under the auspices of the African Union, Nigeria will work with other African leaders to quickly resolve the lingering boundary issues between Sudan and South Sudan because peace was a vital prerequisite for the development of both countries, particularly the new nation of South Sudan.
Recalling the joyful emotions expressed by the citizens of South Sudan when the new country’s flag was raised at independence, President Jonathan pledged that Nigerian and other African nations will work to ensure that the new country’s leaders have the peaceful conditions they require to prudently exploit South Sudan’s natural resources and meet the developmental aspirations of its people.
“You have good prospects as a nation. If there is peace you will certainly make rapid progress,” he told Mr. Pagan Amun Okiech, who delivered the message from President Salva Kiir Mayerdit.
Mr. Okiech also briefed President Jonathan on the economic difficulties being experienced by South Sudan because of the non-implementation of peace agreements with Sudan.
On behalf of the Government of South Sudan, he called for Nigeria’s support for the implementation of the agreements and the expeditious and peaceful resolution of the border disputes between South Sudan and Sudan.