Home | News    Thursday 15 January 2015

IGAD summit on S. Sudan adjourned for further consultations

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

January 14, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – The 29th extraordinary summit of IGAD heads of state and government aimed at discussing the ongoing conflict in South Sudan has been postponed till the end of January.

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Face to face talks between the South Sudanese government and rebels resume in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 13 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Carl De Souza)

An official from the regional bloc, which is mediating peace talks between the warring parties, told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that the summit was postponed as IGAD mediators needed more time to hold ‘‘special consultations’’ with regional leaders, as well as the leaders of the country’s two opposing factions.

The official said more consultations were needed ahead of the regional summit in order to reinvigorate the stalled peace process and come up with a tangible way forward that would guarantee a sustainable peace agreement.

The summit, which was initially scheduled to be held on 18 January, will now reconvene in Addis Ababa on 30 January on the sidelines of the upcoming Africa Union (AU) Summit, due to kick off on a same day.

South Sudanese president Salva Kiir, and former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar were both invited to attend the summit.

Leaders of the regional bloc are expected to apply maximum pressure on both sides in a bid to strike a lasting peace deal to end the over a year old conflict in the young east African nation.

The two SPLM warring factions have so far taken part in six rounds peace negotiations in Ethiopia under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. However both sides have failed to agree on a lasting settlement to the crisis.

Conflict in South Sudan broke out in December 2013 following a political dispute within the ruling SPLM party that led to a clash between troops loyal to and those aligned with Machar.

The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee their homes.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian foreign minister Tedros Adhanom on Monday paid a visit to Khartoum where he met with Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the special consultation meeting underway in support of the IGAD-led South Sudan peace process.

Both sides reiterated the importance of a negotiated political settlement to the country’s political crisis based on the best interests and needs of the South Sudanese people.

According to the ministry of foreign affairs, Bashir and Adhanom both underscored the need for the two rival parties to reach an agreement that embraces a peaceful resolution to the conflict and further paves a way for the creation of a secure, harmonious and prosperous region.

The Sudanese president said that his country was keen to witness a stable, unified and secure South Sudan.

Other discussions between the two sides focused on further enhancing existing bilateral ties, including boosting joint cooperation on ensuring regional peace, security and development.

The Ethiopian minister also revealed that Addis Ababa was set to send a public diplomacy team to Khartoum to cement the historic social relations between the two neighbours.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 16 January 2015 08:59, by Mayom County Boy

    good move!!!!!
    let them delay it for long an till rebels suffer a lot from government attacks .

    repondre message

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