Development - Special envoys of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) seeking a solution to the crisis in South Sudan Thursday continued consultations with members of the rival parties and other stakeholders, according to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a brief statement, the ministry said the Special Envoys “have now received the preliminary report from the advance team of the IGAD Joint Technical Committee that has been conducting a pre-deployment assessment for the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism for the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.”
Some members of the team, however, were still doing assessment on the ground, especially in SPLM-in-Opposition held areas.
Meanwhile, released South Sudanese political leaders, who had originally been expected to attend the official launch of the second round of peace negotiations, arrived here Wednesday from Nairobi to join the talks, being held in Bishoftu town (formerly known as Debre Zeit), 45km south of the Ethiopian capital.
The second round of peace talks between South Sudan`s warring parties officially opened Tuesday in Addis Ababa, focusing on political dialogue and national reconciliation process.
Ethiopia’s Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, chairperson of the IGAD Special Envoys, has called on all the political actors to be solution-oriented and to rise to the occasion for the sake of the interests of the people of South Sudan.
He said there was a need for a paradigm shift and “some very clear general guidelines that need to be implemented urgently”, including “abandonment of the wartime frame of mind and the transformation of institutions of ethnic conflict into institutions that serve the democratic and development aspirations of the peoples of South Sudan.'
Seyoum has emphasised that the negotiations should not be used as an instrument for tactical reasons, but as a framework for the major actors to secure a durable political solution.
IGAD is making efforts to encourage a negotiated settlement of the crisis in South Sudan.