By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
July 4, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia’s foreign minister, Tedros Adhanom, on Thursday held a meeting with South Sudanese president, Salva Kirr, at the sidelines of the 6th Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) Summit underway in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
Discussions between the two sides centred on ways of completely halting the violence in South Sudan and resuming stalled IGAD-led peace talks as reiterated on 27 June summit of the East African bloc.
According to Ethiopian officials, the two sides underscored on the importance of moving forward the peace process aimed to avert civil war in South Sudan.
The Ethiopian foreign minister stressed the need for a recommitment by South Sudan’s warring factions to the immediate and absolute implementation of previous agreements signed between the government and the rebel faction, SPLM/A in Opposition.
Adhanom also reiterated his country’s readiness to continue extending support to South Sudan to bring about lasting political settlement to the crises in the youngest East African nation.
The 6th Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) Summit kicked off on Thursday in Kigali with leaders and representatives of NCIP’s five member states participating.
Leaders’ gathered last night in Kigali where they reviewed the progress and setbacks hindering the implementation of the various ongoing integration projects.
The leaders have called for quick regional integration to speed up trade and development in East Africa and thereby to advance the region into a single trading hub.
Ethiopia is taking part at the summit as an observer while South Sudan is in the final stage to join the bloc.
EAC delegation is due to travel to Juba on 15 July, to hold discussions with South Sudan authorities with regard to the country’s application to join the EAC.
South Sudan president, Salva Kiir, at the occasion commended IGAD leaders’ intervention during what the president said was when his country was attacked by “negative forces”.
“If it wasn’t for the intervention of president Museveni in the first place, we would have lost a lot of lives and property. IGAD is continuing to contribute forces to my country to protect important installations and civilians from attack by rebels,” Kiir said.
Kiir told regional leaders that it was the same regional support needed in the region to stop negative forces who he said were driving the region to instability.
President Kirr announced his government’s decision to donate $200,000 for ICT related researches and developmental projects.
The five partner states of the regional economic bloc are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.