South Sudan President Salva Kiir has urged armed militants to lay down weapons and embrace the call for peace and dialogue.
Kiir said fighting was no longer an option as it leads to death and suffering of innocent people.
“Today, I want to repeat our call on the armed groups to reciprocate the ceasefire we have declared and respect the cessation of hostilities agreement and allow us to achieve a permanent ceasefire,” said Kiir in a statement to the nation issued on Sunday.
“We will continue to call upon those who are still carrying arms and persuade them to respond,” said Kiir, adding, “It is no longer justifiable to fight on as this only leads to the loss of innocent lives, the destruction of properties, and delays in building our country. War is not an option.”
Fighting between rebels and government forces has threatened to push the country over the edge.
Relative prices of food have increased and food shortages and hunger are the most alarming signal of the country’s larger economic collapse.
Kiir said the general security situation in the country has improved, pointing out that ambushes and skirmishes that were daily occurrences have “substantially diminished and are now sporadic”.
The opposition accuses Kiir of repression and undermining pro-democracy forces in the country to maintain his hold onto power hence fighting him.
The President said his government continues to reach out to the different armed groups in the country, calling on them to renounce violence and embrace peace through the National Dialogue.
Kiir said some of the armed rebel groups across the country have accepted the call for peace through the National Dialogue and have largely abandoned rebellion.
“In response, the government has accepted to integrate these forces under the framework of the 2015 Peace Agreement.”