June 2, 2017 (JUBA) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which mediated the 2015 peace agreement, will hold a summit this month in a new attempt to ensure its implementation and to address the devastating conflict in South Sudan.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, in a letter addressed to President Salva Kiir on 29 May 2017, said the conflict in the country was still continuing, despite a declaration of ceasefire and re-invigoration of the national dialogue committee which the president himself proposed in 2016.
“The escalation of violence and growing hostilities are casting their shadows on the national dialogue and the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. this grave situation, thus, requires us to speak with one voice,” wrote Desalegn in a letter seen by Sudan Tribune.
The summit, according to the letter, will be held in Addis Ababa, on Monday 12, June 2017.
The eruption of clashes in Juba between the two peace partners in July 2016, followed by a split within the SPLM-IO and the replacement of Riek Machar by Taban Deng Gai, destroyed the little confidence between the two parties for the implementation of the peace agreement.
Pointing to the need to reconsider the situation and to find out the best way to stop the fighting and allow humanitarian access, Prime Minister Desalegn told President Kiir that the recent unilateral ceasefire declared by his government “and attempts to reinvigorate the national dialogue, has not shown any improvement”.
“Fighting still continues further worsening the humanitarian situation,” Desalegn further stressed.
However, the invitation letter did not indicate the agenda of the meeting and how the regional leaders would ensure they forge a common understanding to speak one voice to end the conflict.