August 25, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Following the two days summit in Addis Ababa, the heads of regional bloc, IGAD, have threatened to impose “punitive” actions on the armed opposition, SPLM/SPLA, for the death of a South Sudanese, who was representing South Sudan Government in Monitoring and Verification Team (MVT) near Bentiu on Sunday in Unity state.
The regional leaders have also threatened to extend similar sanction to South Sudan government for violating ceasefire agreements.
The member of MVT died on Sunday, allegedly of heart attack, after the IGAD helicopter landed in anti-government controlled area outside Bentiu Town.
According to Ethiopia’s Seyoum Mesfin, the chief mediator at the IGAD, who threatens sanction, the helicopter was doing a regular routine check in the area. However, the SPLM/SPLA, which detained the plane accused the IGAD of spying on their positions and activities.
Seyoum reports that the incident happened on Sunday morning, however, he did not provide details on the death and whether the whole delegation was harassed by the opposition.
Other reports allege that the plane was detained and members of the team were beaten by the members of SPLA in opposition.
The heads of IGAD have pledged to announce the punitive actions on Monday evening. IGAD has been under pressure from the international community to impose sanctions on those impeding the peaceful resolutions.
Pressure from TROIKA, European Union and UN Security Council mounts on IGAD as the South Sudanese warring parties’ principles failed to sign another agreement to implement a draft Transitional Government of National Unity.
Despite that Salva Kiir and his rival, Dr. Riek Machar, have declined to sign the agreement, IGAD mediators have reportedly went ahead to sign their part.
The warring parties have, however, recommitted to sign the hostilities matrix, similar to what was signed by Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek in May. The matrix is expected to end the conflict, however, the two parties have continued to exchange accusations on new violations as the two heads of delegation signed the paper in Addis Ababa.
While the government accused members of armed opposition for crossing the border, from Mile 14 [Sudan] into Unity State [South Sudan], the opposition accused the government of attacking their position in Doleb Hills and its outskirts in Upper Nile State.
According to president Uhuru Kenyatta, the heads of IGAD have resolved to take actions on the South Sudanese leaders, who obstruct peaceful means to end the conflict.
“Today, at the end of the two-day summit of Heads of State of IGAD, we have resolved to take action against those who obstruct the attainment of peace in South Sudan, and we assure the people of South Sudan that such individuals or actors will be held responsible for their actions, and be denied participation in the future governance arrangements of South Sudan.” Uhuru Kenyatta stated.
Kenyatta reiterates that the mediators have given the warring parties 45 days to reach an agreement on formation of Transitional Government of National Unity.
“We have given the warring sides 45 days within which they should form a transitional government. IGAD also declared a humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and that the parties to the conflict must allow humanitarian corridors to operate in order to stem the hunger and likely deaths. IGAD succeeded in getting President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar to recommit themselves to a ceasefire which has been frequently breached in the past eight months.” Kenyatta continued.