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South Sudan peace talks resume

By David Lumu

Added 7th February 2018 01:49 PM

The first phase of the South Sudan peace talks ended last year in December with the cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa.

South Sudan peace talks resume

The first phase of the South Sudan peace talks ended last year in December with the cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. Photo/File

The second phase of the ‘High Level Revitalisation Forum' for peace talks in South Sudan yesterday resumed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The peace talks, which were attended by representatives of the warring factions in the South Sudan conflict, were chaired by Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, the chairperson of the council of ministers of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

According to IGAD officials, Gebeyehu said that violators of the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement will be held accountable.

"He noted that that there have been allegations and counter allegations of violations that were thereafter reported by the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM). He continued that violators of the CoH will be held accountable, and urged parties to adhere to the CoH Agreement," IGAD officials noted in a statement issued yesterday after the resumption of the peace talks.

The first phase of the South Sudan peace talks ended last year in December with the cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa.

During the 30th ordinary session of the African Union (AU) last week, IGAD foreign ministers and Heads of State from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, agreed that the second phase of peace talks should resume.

In a joint communiqué, shortly after their meeting on the side-lines of the AU summit, the IGAD ministers also decried recent confrontational remarks made by President Salva Kiir and his rivals led by former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar.

At the resumption of the second phase of the peace talks yesterday, representatives of the warring factions fuelling the South Sudan conflict were urged to implement the following matters—restoration of a permanent ceasefire and the implementation of the peace agreement.

The development of a revised and realistic timeline and the implementation schedule towards a democratic election in South Sudan at the end of the transition period are the other demands that IGAD chiefs, want South Sudan key political players, to implement.

"Violators of the cessation of hostilities will be held accountable," Gebeyehu said.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ambassador Ismael Wais and the Deputy Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), Gen. Augostino Njoroge, yetserday attended the second phase of the High Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) on South Sudan conflict.

Conflict in South Sudan broke out in December 2013 after forces close to Machar clashed with those loyal to President Kiir. This has since forced thousands to flee the country, with Uganda hosting over 1.3 million refugees from South Sudan.

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