28 April 2014 - Aiming at resolving the current crisis in South Sudan, peace talks led by the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) resumed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa today.
The talks, which are focusing on a political dialogue, followed an adjournment from 7 April for consultations.
“During the adjournment, IGAD Special Envoys held a series of consultations with the principals of the warring parties President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar in an effort to fast-track the negotiation process and avert further escalation of the conflict,” a press release issued by IGAD said. “The principals shared concern over the recent escalation of the conflict and expressed their renewed commitment to the mediation process.”
The press release added that the special envoys also held consultations with IGAD country leaders, the African Union and United Nations “to mobilize support for the mediation process and the unhindered operations of the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism as well as to expedite the deployment of the regional Protection Force.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Chairman of the East African Community (EAC)and Rapporteur of IGAD, said in a statement issued on 26 April that it was “heart-wrenching” for the EAC, IGAD, AU and the wider global community to “to sit and watch atrocities being committed on a daily basis”.
“This must be put to a stop,” said President Kenyatta. “We refuse to be witnesses to such atrocities and to remain helpless and hopeless in their wake. We especially reject the possibility that we are creeping into genocide again in our region. We shall not stand by and allow it to happen.”
The Kenyan President revealed that counties in the region would soon convene an emergency summit of IGAD “to deliberate and consider our options on the subject”.