JUBA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said Sunday the general security situation in the east African nation is relatively calm after warring parties inked a cease-fire deal last month in Khartoum.
In a written statement read by the country's First Vice President Taban Deng Gai on the eve of 7th Independence Day anniversary, Kiir said the government and opposition forces have observed the permanent cease-fire and hope for reaching a sustainable pact.
President Kiir is still in Ugandan capital, Kampala on a peace mission which is of the ongoing regional efforts to end the conflict in South Sudan.
Kiir called on international partners, region to continue supporting the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development-led mediation for his country to achieve stability.
"We are working very hard to improve the security situation in the country so that our citizens who have taken refuge in the neighboring countries and in the Diaspora could come back home," Kiir said.
The government on Friday cancelled plans to celebrate this year's independence anniversary for the third consecutive year due to the financial difficulties facing the world's newest nation.
Meanwhile, the South Sudan parties on Friday signed a deal on transitional security arrangements in Khartoum to pave the way for smooth implementation of the security sector during the transitional period.
Under the deal, the two warring parties agreed that the prisoners of war and detainees shall be released immediately under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
They also resolved to guarantee movement of citizens, commodities and service and also open humanitarian corridors for relief.
Government's spokesperson Michael Makuei lauded the security deal, saying it marked the beginning of genuine peace in South Sudan.
"I call upon all the people and all the opposition groups to respect and abide by the permanent ceasefire and with this, I say congratulations to the people of the Republic of South Sudan for this peace which has been achieved," Makuei said.
South Sudan's conflict that has now entered its fifth year which erupted in late 2013 after forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar engaged in combat.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital, Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.
Millions of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge in neighboring countries as the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players to end it.