August 7, 2016 (JUBA) - African leaders of the East African regional bloc, IGAD, have issued a strong worded communiqué, calling on the United Nations and global community to extend support to end conflict in South Sudan. The also warned that a delay to act to avert a deteriorating humanitarian situation represents a security threat to countries in the region.
In the communiqué released in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, IGAD said its member states have been shouldering heavy burden.
“Underlines once again that the situation in South Sudan is a serious threat to regional peace, security and stability, and recognizes that the neighbouring countries have been shouldering the heavy burden of the conflict since its outbreak in December 2013, including continued and intensive flow of refugees, as well as proliferation of illicit small arms and weapons and instability,” reads the communique of the outcome of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the IGAD Plus held on 5th August 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The leaders pointed out the international community, particularly the UN Security Council, has the duty and moral responsibility to act decisively and swiftly in support of the IGAD and AU efforts with a view to bringing to an end the suffering of the people.
The meeting also condemned the "continuing obstruction of Ceasefire and Transitional
Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism - Monitoring and Verification
Teams (CTSAMM-MVTs) and UNMISS from implementing their tasks and
It further called upon the Transitional Government of National Unity
(TGoNU) to issue the necessary orders to guarantee CTSAMM and UNMISS
freedom of movement and to respect the Status of Forces Agreement
between the Republic of South Sudan and UNMISS.
The South Sudanese government delegation was chaired by First Vice President Taban Deng Gai who informed the meet of his decision to resign in favour of the former FVP Riek Machar.
The meeting ’’welcomes the gesture of H.E. General Taban Deng Ghai to step down with a view of returning to the status quo ante in line with the ARCSS for the sake of peace and stability in the Republic of South Sudan," said the statement.
The meeting was chaired by Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and current Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government, and was attended by Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti; . Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya; Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia; Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda.
Other prominent African leaders and personalities at the summit include Rwandan president Paul Kagame, Rachid Benlounes, representing the President of Algeria, Kettong Doradji, representing the President of Chad, Godfrey A.E. Odudigbo, representing the President of Nigeria and Ndumiso N. Ntshinga, representing the President of South Africa. Ellen Margrethe Loej, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General and the Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Festus G. Mogae, Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); and Mahboub Maalim, IGAD Executive Secretary were among those who attended the high level summit on the situation in South Sudan.