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IGAD extends invitation to S. Sudan party representatives

May 6, 2018 (JUBA) – The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has invited representatives of each of the South Sudanese parties for consultations on the peace process.

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The High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) at the African Union Hall, Addis Ababa (Getty)

IGAD, in a letter issued on Sunday, called for the need to intensify engagement with the South Sudanese parties so as to identify any possible options of ensuring the next peace talks ends successfully.

“In order for the process to be focused and meaningful, the engagements need to be limited to representatives of the parties,” partly reads the letter addressed to the parties,” the letter reads.

“I would therefore request you to nominate five representatives to come to Addis Ababa for the consultations from 10th May-12th 2018,” adds the letter signed by IGAD special envoy to South Sudan, Ismail Wais.

In recent days, however, ceasefire monitors have expressed concerns over renewed fighting in South Sudan ahead of the next round of talks due in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa this month.

“In order, therefore, to maximize the likelihood of reaching final agreement during the next round, which begins on 17 May 2018, the Council of Ministers and the Special Envoy consider that it is necessary to intensify the engagement with and between the parties,” further stated IGAD’s letter.

In February, the South Sudan peace talks stalled over a text mediators and opposition officials want added to a provision that authorizes levying punitive measures against individuals who violate the peace process.

South Sudan has been mired in conflict between the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels led by ex-Vice President Riek Machar since December 2013. The conflict has killed tens of thousands and displaced almost over 2 million people from their homes, including over a million refugees who fled into neighbouring nations.

(ST)