IGAD adjourns South Sudan peace talks indefinitely

President Festus Mogai speaks to media (File photo)
President Festus Mogai speaks to media (File photo)

April 18th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which is mediating the South Sudan’s peace process has indefinitely adjourned the proposed Phase II of the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) which was previously set to resume on April 26th in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

In a statement extended to the media on Tuesday, the Joint monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) said the body had been informed by the IGAD that there are changes as to the dates of the peace process in contrary to the initial timetable which had been set out early by the regional.

This came, the JMEC revealed, after a meeting held on Tuesday in the nation’s capital Juba by the IGAD’s special Envoy Ismail Wais and the JMEC resulted in the decision.

The JMEC added that the new dates will be communicated by the IGAD without further explanation.

“The new dates will be communicated by the office of the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Minsters in due course,” the statement said without further details.

Early in March, the Inter Governmental Authority on Development’s Council of Ministers agreed to resume Phase II of the High-Level revitalization Forum (HLRF) on April 26th.

Also the special envoy was tasked to carry out consultations and meetings with the HLRF negotiating parties and stakeholders to narrow the gaps on governance and the security arrangement which is vital for the implementation of the peace agreement as previously set forth by the ARCISS which collapsed in July 2016.

The High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) is a mechanism adopted by the regional community to try to bring to live the peace agreement which the opposition branded as “dead”.

This came after the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) provided for in a 2016 peace deal signed by Kiir and Machar collapsed in July 2016 when forces loyal to President Salva Kiir clashed with guards of then First Vice President Riek Machar Teny in the Presidential Palace known as ‘J1’ in the nation’s capital.

Machar fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo while under hot pursuit by the government. He was then rushed to the Sudanese capital Khartoum shortly after arrival in the DR Congo where he underwent an intensive medical care before going to South Africa’s Pretoria where he was then put under house arrest reportedly by the IGAD and some members of the International Community who thought peace will come to the world’s youngest nation in his absence.

Despite Machar’s absence from South Sudan for almost two years, war has continued to spread to areas that were relatively peace during the first phase of the war.

The escalation of war forced IGAD in 2017 to attempt to revitalize the peace agreement in order to try for another round to bring peace to the young African country; however, the regional body is deeply compromised by what observers term as “conflicting interests” and its chances to restore peace in South Sudan remained very limited.

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