Tuesday, March 24, 2015

South Sudan’s Rival Leaders to Participate in IGAD Summit
March 24, 2015 (JUBA) – Principal leaders of the two warring parties in South Sudan’s conflict will participate in the upcoming summit of the heads of state and government of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a South Sudan’s presidential aide told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

The consultative summit, according to the aide, is planned to take place on a date between 27th March and 18 April during which the regional leaders will review the previous documents which the warring parties agreed upon and signed since the negotiations began in January 2014.

The review will attempt to draw conclusions on which a decision for the final accord to be signed by the two sides will be made.

“Consultations are running and we are told that the IGAD mediators have drawn up action plan which started on 16th of this month,” the official disclosed.

“The IGAD secretariat started putting together all the agreements which the two parties reached and signed and gave these documents to the mediation team for review before submission to the chairperson of the IGAD,” he said.

The draft action plan, seen by the Sudan Tribune , detailed the timeframe during which events leading to the signing of a final peace agreement shall be completed.

Between 27 March and 18 April, IGAD envoys and regional leaders will hold consultative meetings and a summit during which the two principals, president Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, leader of the opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) will be invited to attend.

The exact date for holding the summit which is expected to take place in Addis Ababa was not however mentioned in the timeframe.

The plan also revealed that after the summit, the IGAD chairman and prime minister of Ethiopia will conduct consultations with the representatives of Troika (USA, UK and Norway), European Union (EU), China and the United Nations (UN) on pending signature of the final peace agreement.

“IGAD-Plus high-level international peace forum on South Sudan of which the South Sudanese stakeholders will be invited to sign the final peace agreement,” concludes the draft action plan as a final activity.

An official of the SPLM-IO however said his leadership was not aware of the contents of the action plan.

“No, our leadership has not seen the said IGAD draft action plan,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

He said they were expecting resumption of the negotiations where face-to-face talks between the two principal leaders would take place by April so as to resolve the outstanding issues.

Talks collapsed on 6 March when president Kiir and his former deputy Machar could not agree on almost all the contentious issues pertaining to governance, security arrangements, power and wealth-sharing as well as reconciliation and accountability.

IGAD said it would expand the mediation membership to include AU, Troika countries, China, EU and UN in the next round of negotiations under the new mechanism.


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