Monday, January 30, 2017 8:18 am
International bodies and organisations at the 28th African Union Summit of the Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa have expressed deep concerns over the lingering crisis in the South Sudan.
The bodies which include the African Union (AU), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations (UN), stated this at a joint consultative meeting on South Sudan on Sunday night.
The international organisations in a joint press statement issued on Monday decried the continuing spread of fighting and risk of inter-communal violence escalating into mass atrocities, and the dire humanitarian situation in South Sudan.
They reaffirmed their continued and collective commitment in the search for lasting peace, security and stability in the country.
The bodies further said that there could only be a political solution to the conflict within the framework of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).
The AU, IGAD and UN reiterated their call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and urged the parties to ensure inclusivity of the political process, both in the proposed National Dialogue and in the implementation of the ARCSS.
They commended the important work performed by the JMEC Chairperson and encouraged the AU High Representative for South Sudan to undertake active shuttle diplomacy toward ensuring the inclusivity of the National Dialogue and the ARCSS implementation.
This should be done in close consultation with the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission Chairperson, the UN and IGAD.
The AU, IGAD and the UN reaffirmed their commitment and determination to further enhance their cooperation in support of the South Sudan peace process.
The meeting, chaired by Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Chairperson of IGAD, was also attended by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission and Mr Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN.
The AU High Representative for South Sudan, former President Alpha Oumar Konare, and the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), former President Festus Mogae briefed the meeting.
Also in attendance, were the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, the Executive Secretary of IGAD, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, and other senior officials of the three organisations.