By Taddeo Bwambale
The release of four political detainees by the South Sudan Government is a key step in negotiations to end the conflict, IGAD has said.
In a statement, an IGAD mediation team said the gesture would facilitate national reconciliation and unity in the country torn by fighting.
The South Sudan Government on Friday released the four remaining political detainees accused of plotting to overthrow President Salva Kiir’s government.
“We welcome the release of the remaining four detainees by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. It is our belief that this spirit will open the way for future unity of the party and national reconciliation,” the statement says.
This comes as IGAD-led peace process recently shifted focus of the talks to facilitating dialogue on internal issues of the SPLM/A.
A preliminary SPLM Intra-Party Dialogue was convened from 23rd to 26th April in Addis Ababa as part of the negotiations, the IGAD statement said.
The meeting was facilitated by the African National Congress (ANC) and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
The framework of the peace process is intended to address the underlying causes of the current crisis in South Sudan.
Delegations representing former South Sudan vice president Dr Riek Machar and President Kiir are expected to hammer out an agreement through an Intra-Party Dialogue.
According to the statement, the delegations have so far agreed on the agenda to be discussed by the Political Bureau (PB) of SPLM, rules of engagement for the Intra-Party Dialogue and continuation of the discussion on the remaining issues.
Both delegations expressed commitment to take part in the peace process and find a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis, according to a statement.
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Release of detainees boosts South Sudan talks - IGAD