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Kiir to Attend IGAD Extraordinary Summit in Ethiopia

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South Sudan president Salva Kiir is expected to attend the upcoming extraordinary summit organised by the intergovernmental authority on development (IGAD), the regional bloc which mediated the 2015 peace agreement to end the devastating conflict in the young nation.

A presidential aide said the South Sudan leader would himself attend the summit if no important matters required his attention at home.

“This is an important meeting of heads of state of the IGAD member countries. It is being specifically convened to discuss the current situation in the country, which is an encouraging and important initiative”, Tor Deng Mawien, the presidential advisor on decentralisation and intergovernmental linkage said Wednesday.

He said IGAD has a role in persuading armed and non-political forces to join the national dialogue. He stressing that a home-grown peace deal from the dialogue will be sustainable, inclusive and grounded on the full respect of the ratified international human rights treaties.

The official’s comments follow a letter by the Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of state and government inviting President Kiir for an extraordinary summit to be held on 12 June 2017 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn has convened an extraordinary meeting in respond to numerous reports by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) chairperson on the unfolding situation in South Sudan, the latest effort to convene the National Dialogue, and consultations with IGAD member states.

The summit, according to a statement from IGAD, is expected to deliberate on the security and humanitarian situation facing South Sudan. The deteriorating security situation has resulted in the increase in numbers of the internally displaced persons and refugees, thus requiring IGAD’s intervention.

IGAD’s consultations with the African Union and United Nations implies that the region has to lead the way for a concerted effort to bring forward the dialogue to solve South Sudan’s problem.

The regional bloc, following the clashes that occurred in Juba in July 2016, backed the appointment of Taban Deng Gai as the First Vice President and encouraged President Kiir to implement the deal saying this would allow Machar to compete democratically in the post-Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) period.

The increase of violence, flagrant human rights violations and war crimes prompted U.N officials to express fears that a genocide might occur in the war-torn nation.

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