By Vision Reporter
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has returned from Ethiopia after taking part in the 25th Extra Ordinary Summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The summit was convened to keenly review the situation in neighboring South Sudan that has been destabilized over the last three months.
Museveni joined other regional heads-of-state and government in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to discuss South Sudan.
Addressing the summit on Thursday, the Ethiopian Prime Minister and current Chairman of IGAD, Hailemariam Desselegn thanked the regional leaders for supporting the establishment of a Stabilization and Protection Force.
He also lauded the leaders for their efforts in finding a lasting solution to the conflict that has left untold suffering of thousands of people.
Many South Sudanese nationals have since fled fighting that erupted between government forces and rebels.
Hundreds have been reported killed while a lot of property has been destroyed as result of the conflict.
There have been efforts to bring the two warring parties on a roundtable to discuss a ceasefire.
In Addis, PM Desselegn called for the observation of the 23rd January agreement on secession of hostilities between the warring sides in order to give peace a chance and allow a conducive atmosphere for negotiations to proceed.
He also called for flexibility between the two parties at the centre of the conflict.
The African Union (AU) chairperson, Dr.Nkosazana Dlamin Zuma, thanked IGAD leaders for their efforts to stop the carnage and misery inflicted on civilians and put an abrupt end to nation-building of the newest independent state of Africa.
She called for special protection of the “defenseless” people especially women and children, the observation of human rights and for an end to unconstitutional change of democratically elected governments in Africa.
Dr. Zuma said the AU had already established a commission of enquiry on the conflict under the chairmanship of former Nigerian President Gen. Olussegon Obasanjo.
The AU leader went on to pledge support for the establishment of the IGAD Stabilization and Protection Force for South Sudan.
The special summit was also addressed by the US Special Envoy to South Sudan, Ambassador Donald Booth, who also spoke on behalf of the United Kingdom and Norway.
Others who took part included the Chinese Ambassador Xie Xiao Uam, EU Special Representative to the Horn of Africa Alexander Ronders and Italian Ambassador Ginsepp Mistretta – all of whom pledged their countries’ support to all IGAD efforts aimed at stabilizing South Sudan.
President Museveni had earlier met his Ethiopian counterpart with whom they discussed bilateral issues and other matters of mutual interest between their two countries.
Museveni touched down at Entebbe international airport on Thursday and was received by security minister Muruli Mukasa; the head of public service John Mitala; Air Force commandant Maj. Gen. Turyagenda Samuel and the commissioner of prisons, Dr. Johnson Byabasaija.
Museveni returns from summit on S. Sudan