The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has referred the warring parties in South Sudan to the 2015 peace agreement whose implementation was abandoned following renewed violence.
The East African regional bloc held its Extra-Ordinary Summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Monday where it focused on the worsening security situation in South Sudan which has rendered thousands homeless.
“The IGAD Summit calls upon all the parties to take urgent steps to draw a concrete plan and timeline to compensate the delay and to revitalise the full implementation of the ARCSS (Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan),” said the bloc at the Summit attended by the presidents of Uganda and Sudan, Yoweri Museveni and Omar al Bashir respectively.
They also called for a high level forum for all the parties “including estranged groups to discuss concrete measures to restore permanent ceasefire, to full implementation of the peace agreement and to develop a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards a democratic election at the end of the transition period.”
The IGAD Summit calls upon all the parties to take urgent steps to draw a concrete plan and timeline to compensate the delay and to revitalise the full implementation of the ARCSS.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn chaired the Summit which was also attended by Somali Prime Minister, Djiboutian and Kenyan foreign ministers among other dignitaries.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir did not attend the Summit due to “pressing issues in the country”. He was represented by his First Vice President Taban Deng Gai.
The agreement faltered after renewed conflicts in 2016 between the two parties that saw the former First Vice President Riek Machar flee the country to South Africa where he is based.
Kiir declared ceasefire and launched a national dialogue body last month to organise a national peace dialogue which is expected to include the armed opposition to address the root causes of the conflict.
He has however stated that whoever answers to the call will be included in the dialogue after the opposition said it will not participate.
South Sudan has been ravaged by civil war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar, who is currently leading the armed opposition.