By Taddeo Bwambale
THE Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ambassador Mahboub Maalim has called for a peaceful end to the unrest in South Sudan.
His call comes as delegations of President Salva Kiir and his rival, Dr. Riek Machar arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Wednesday for talks to end the three-week long conflict.
Mahboub, in a statement on the crisis, appealed to the parties to desist from violence as talks begin in Addis Ababa to end the conflict.
He commended both factions for each appointing negotiation teams, saying it was an important step towards a peaceful end to the conflict.
Established to foster drought control and development, IGAD brings together six countries of the Horn of Africa region which are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
Mahboub hailed the parties for heeding the call for dialogue by the IGAD Summit of Heads of State and Government to cease fighting that has claimed the lives of at least 700 people.
He expressed concern over the unrest suffered by civilians in South Sudan and paid tribute to the relief actors and the International Community for supporting victims.
IGAD is engaged in talks to resolve the fighting with representation of two special envoys to South Sudan, Gen. Lazarus Sumbeiywo and Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin.
Mahboub pledged IGADʼs support towards a peaceful solution to the crisis and appealed to the International Community to take part in stabilizing the world’s youngest country.