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IGAD chief mediator says South Sudan peace deal is close

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October 21, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) says it is now closer than ever before to securing a peace agreement ending the more than 10-month-long conflict in South Sudan following a meeting with Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir On Tuesday.

IGAD’s chief mediator for South Sudan peace talks, Seyoum Mesfin, speaks to the press following the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement between the South Sudanese government and rebels in Addis Ababa on 23 January 2014 (Photo: AFP)

IGAD’s chief mediator and former Ethiopian foreign minister, Seyoum Mesfin, was in Khartoum to brief Bashir on recent developments in the peace process aimed at ending the crisis.

Following the meeting, he told reporters he informed al-Bashir on the “substantial progress” the warring parties achieved in the talks held in the Ethiopian town Bahir Dar, and asked his “advice and guidance” on this respect.

“I briefed him on the productive meetings held recently during which the parties overcome some critical issues, particularly their agreement on the principle of federalism as the system of governance in South Sudan,” he said.

“We are now closer than ever to an agreement to end the conflict in South Sudan, but we must continue our efforts to find a lasting solution,” he added.

On 6 October the mediation announced the suspension of the talks for consultations with the IGAD leaders and the warring parties over contentious issues.

The mediation said amongst the issues the parties discussed are “the system of governance, function/mandate of the would-be transitional government, its structures, size of the cabinet, seat of the government, structure and size of parliament, pre-transitional and transitional period, decision making mechanism in government, dispute resolution mechanism in relation to the agreement and duties and responsibilities of the executive”.

Despite their agreement on the federalism as system of governance, the parties failed to reach a deal over the position of the prime minister and his attributions.

Mesfin said the mediation is consulting with the South Sudanese parties. He disclosed that the Ethiopian prime minister will visit Juba within days for consultations with the president Salva Kiir, adding that Hailemariam Desalegn already met with the rebel leader Riek Machar.

He further said that Desalegn who is also the IGAD chair, will convene a summit for the leaders of the east African body to find a lasting solution for the problem.

On 18 October, Mesfin flanked by Lazarus Sumbeiywo of Kenya met with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to brief him on the progress made in the South Sudanese peace progress.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel and the negotiations have entered the final stages where we hope for positive outcome,” Sumbeiywo said, according to statement issued by the Kenyan presidency.

(ST)

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  • 22 October 2014 10:41, by wang

    Hope the two countries have agreed to chase Ugandan back to her territory and leave Mrs. Kiir alone to deals with white army; otherwise their meeting would be a waste of sources if they think Mrs. Kiir will be still the head of state and let the Ugandan continuing rapping Nuer women….



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