The Council of Ministers of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Horn of Africa sub-regional grouping which brokered a South Sudan peace deal, has warned all parties in that conflict-stricken country that it will take serious action against parities which do not abide by the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in December 2017.

The 61st Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers held here Monday also decided that the revitalization process for South Sudan would begin on April 26, 2018.

The Council of Ministers Chairperson, Ethiopian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene said the authority would do everything possible to ensure peace in South Sudan, the world's youngest country which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 but which has been wracked by a civil war since 2013.

She called on all parties of South Sudan to commit themselves to the peace and revitalization process to end the suffering of the South Sudanese people.

The IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ismail Wais, said the council of ministers needs to intensify its engagement with the various parties, including through shuttle diplomacy, with a view to persuading South Sudanese stakeholders to make the necessary compromises.

He also called on all council members to ensure high and active representation and participation at the next forum sessions. Wais further urged all parties to adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, make the necessary compromises, and seize the historic opportunity to bring peace to South Sudan.

The parties must be prevailed upon to set no red lines and to make compromises for the sake of the South Sudanese people who are desperate for peace, he stressed.

Special envoys of the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations, the Troika for South Sudan (Norway, UK, United States) as well as representatives of China, and the Co-Chairperson of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) also attended the extraordinary session.

Source: NAM News Network

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