ADDIS ABABA – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), an East Africa regional body, is to hold a three-day symposium in Addis Ababa for an inclusive peace talks on South Sudan.
This is coming ahead of the UN planned deployment of peacekeeping force to help restore law and order in the country.
The IGAD-mediated South Sudan negotiations adjourned for 12 days, beginning May 19 to enable the affected parties engage in consultations after establishing two committees that were expected to fast-track cease fire agreement.
The regional body said in a statement on Wednesday that the symposium would be convened as part of the ongoing IGAD-led mediation process to proffer solutions to the ongoing South Sudan crisis.
The statement said the multi-stakeholder symposium would hold at the AU Commission premises in Addis Ababa between June 5 and June 7.
According to the statement, some 150 delegates, drawn from the South Sudan Government, the SPLM/A in opposition, Civil Society Organisations and opposition political parties will attend the meeting.
Others included faith- based groups and traditional leaders who would “initiate the inclusive phase of the mediation process based on a consensual, roundtable, multi-party dialogue’’.
President Salva Kiir of Republic of South Sudan (RSS) and Dr Riek Machar, former Vice President of the RSS and leader of SPLM/A-in Opposition, on 9 May signed an agreement in Addis Ababa committing to the cease fire agreement.
They also committed to seeking an inclusive political solution to the crisis in South Sudan that led to killing of hundreds of thousands of persons, while some estimated one million others had been displaced in the crises that broke on Dec. 15.
The UN Refugee Agency said it recorded more than 370,000 South Sudan refugees in various camps across Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan during the more than six months of fighting in the youngest African country