By Taddeo Bwambale
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has adjourned South Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for 12 days.
In a statementy, IGAD said the talks that commenced on April 28 had been ‘fruitful.’ Mediators will meet for the next phase of the mediation process on the June 4.
According to the statement, IGAD Special Envoys will undertake shuttle mission to South Sudan to consult with different stakeholders during the recess.
The mediators urged the warring Parties to ‘honor their agreements previously inked before the eyes of the people of South Sudan and the international community at large.’
The adjournment of the talks come weeks after South Sudan President, Salva Kiir and his former Vice President, Dr Riek Machar, accused each other of violating a ceasefire agreement they both signed last month to end the conflict in South Sudan.
The agreement, signed under the auspices of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Chairman of the IGAD Assembly, Hailemariam Desalegn, contains commitment to end hostilities.
The two leaders pledged to freeze all forces in their current locations, and negotiate on a transitional government of national unity, among others.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (C) signs the Cessation of Hostilities treaty over the war in South Sudan, alongside Salva Kiir (L), President of South Sudan, and Riek Machar (R), SPLM Opposition leader, on May 9, 2014 in Addis Ababa.AFP PHOTO
However, hours after the agreement was signed, both Kiir and Machar’s forces were engaged in fighting in parts of South Sudan, denting their commitment to resolve the conflict amicably.
According to IGAD, the agreement ‘favorably changed the landscape of the negotiation into a more inclusive, representative and forward looking process.’
Delegations representing both leaders signed a Recommitment on the Humanitarian Matters in the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement on 5 May, 2014.
According to IGAD, both parties established two working Committees-the Security Arrangements and Humanitarian Affairs Committee, and the Political Committee.
Mediators said the committees have produced working documents on implementation modalities for the cessation of hostilities agreement and the framework for the political negotiations towards a settlement of the crisis in South Sudan.
South Sudan talks adjourned for two weeks